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Press Release

Lancaster County Business Owner Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Filing False Liens Against IRS Agent

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
The defendant illegally retaliated against legitimate IRS action taken to satisfy her company’s outstanding federal tax obligation

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Dorothy Recarde, 68, of Kirkwood, PA, was sentenced to one year in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay a $25,000 fine by United States District Judge Paul S. Diamond for filing false and fraudulent liens worth $15,000,000 against an employee of the Internal Revenue Service.

In December 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct or impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Service. After an IRS revenue officer initiated levy actions to satisfy an outstanding federal tax obligation of approximately $24,000 incurred by Recarde’s company, Summerbeam Woodworking, Recarde retaliated by filing two fraudulent liens in Chester County against the officer.

According to court documents, Recarde initially responded to repeated attempts by the revenue officer to collect the outstanding tax obligation by mailing notarized letters to the IRS that espoused sovereign citizen ideology, an anti-government movement that, among other things, denies the government’s authority to impose taxes. She further claimed that correspondence she had mailed to IRS officials and the United States Treasury had gone unanswered, thus nullifying her outstanding debts. Bogus and illegal liens, such as those filed by the defendant, are a common tactic used by supporters of the sovereign citizen movement against perceived opponents or enemies.

“The sovereign citizen movement is nonsense and will be treated as such,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “And if you use it as an excuse to harass and retaliate against an IRS agent, you’re going to jail. Then you’ll have plenty of free time to think about the consequences of flouting the law.”

“TIGTA’s statutory mission includes investigating individuals who interfere with Federal tax administration,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  “Attempts to intimidate or retaliate against Internal Revenue Service employees engaged in the performance of their official duties will not be tolerated.  We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this investigation.”

The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank R. Costello, Jr.


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Updated August 25, 2020