Brunswick Man Sentenced to Four Months for Tax Conspiracy
Contact: Karen E. Kelly
Assistant Chief, U.S Department of Justice, Tax Division
James W. Chapman, Jr.
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II and Acting Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Caroline D. Ciraolo, announced that David E. Robinson, 79, of Brunswick, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge D. Brock Hornby to four months in prison and one year of supervised release, including four months of home confinement, for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by impeding and impairing the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). The defendant and co-conspirator F. William Messier were convicted on April 3, 2015, after a five-day jury trial.
According to trial testimony, Messier, doing business as Oak Hill Communications, earned substantial income on leases from telecommunication towers located on his Brunswick property. In 2012, after the IRS assessed taxes and interest against Messier totaling $172,094 for the tax years 2000 to 2004, Messier enlisted the help of Robinson who had written several books promoting anti-government and "sovereign citizen" theories. According to the testimony of witnesses, after the IRS sent Notices of Levy to Messier's customers, Robinson and Messier took a number of steps to obstruct and impede the IRS in the collection of the assessment against Messier, including presenting the IRS with a fake and worthless money order for the amount due by Messier. They also sent harassing and misleading correspondence to Messier's customers falsely stating that the customers would be breaking the law if they cooperated with the IRS. In addition, Robinson, who claimed to be "Interim Attorney General" of the "Maine Republic Free State," drafted and filed two frivolous lawsuits on behalf of himself and Messier against some of Messier's customers and against employees of the IRS. These lawsuits were dismissed in separate proceedings.
In imposing sentence, Judge Hornby said that the notion that people do not have to pay federal taxes "is a fantasy."
On August 27, 2015, Judge Hornby sentenced Messier to one year and one day in prison, a fine of $15,000, and ordered Messier to file all delinquent returns and pay any taxes owed to the IRS.
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James W. Chapman, and Karen E. Kelly, Assistant Chief at the Tax Division prosecuted the case.