Contact: Karen E. Kelly
Assistant Chief, U.S. Department of Justice's 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 F. William Messier, 70, and David E. Robinson, 78, both of Brunswick, Maine, were convicted yesterday by a federal jury in U.S. District Court for conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). Messier was also convicted of corruptly endeavoring to impede the IRS. Messier was acquitted of willful failure to file income tax returns for 2008 through 2012.
According to testimony during the trial, Messier, doing business as Oak Hill Communications, earned income generated on leases from telecommunication towers located on his Brunswick property. From 1999 through 2014, Messier engaged in conduct intended to obstruct the enforcement of the Revenue laws, including providing false tax documents to customers, obstructing IRS collection activities and the extensive use of cash. In 2012, the IRS assessed taxes and interest against Messier totaling $172,000 for the tax years 2000 to 2004. 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 enforcement of the levy, including presenting the IRS with a fake and worthless money order for the amount due by Messier. According to witness testimony, Messier and Robinson urged customers not to honor the levies or to pay the IRS, urged customers to pay Messier in cash to conceal their payments from the IRS, sent false documents to the IRS and sent threatening and misleading correspondence to customers of Messier’s business urging them not to cooperate with the IRS. Robinson claims to be the “Interim Attorney General” of the “Maine Republic Free State.”
Messier faces up to 8 years in prison and fines totaling $500,000. Robinson faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. They will be sentenced after the completion of presentence investigation reports by the U.S. Probation Office.
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.