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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Lisbon Man Sentenced For Filing False Tax Returns

MADISON, WIS. --John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that John Glavin, 44, New Lisbon, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for filing a false claim for refund with the Internal Revenue Service.  The Court found the false claims filed by Glavin totaled $956,662, and based its sentence on this amount.

On April 24, 2013, a grand jury in Madison, Wis., returned a two-count indictment against Glavin.  Count One charged Glavin with making a false claim for refund against the United States by submitting a false 2005 income tax return to the IRS claiming a tax refund of $255,958.  The 2005 tax return included nine fictitious Forms 1099-OID which falsely reported that Glavin had received $425,321 in income and had taxes withheld from that income. 

Count Two of the indictment charged Glavin with making another false claim by submitting a false 2008 income tax return to the IRS claiming a tax refund of $700,704.  The 2008 tax return included 12 fictitious Forms 1099-OID which falsely reported that Glavin had received $1,076,202 in income and had taxes withheld from that income. Glavin pleaded guilty to Count Two on December 4, 2013.

In pronouncing today's sentence, Judge Crabb noted that during the IRS criminal investigation, Glavin filed multiple lawsuits in federal court to stop the enforcement of IRS subpoenas for records, arguing that “sovereign citizens” are not citizens of the United States and that Form 1040 is not legitimate.  Judge Crabb noted these arguments were long-discredited, and were summarily denied by the court.

Judge Crabb stated that Glavin's conduct not only included the false claims for refund using the 1040s, and the filing of frivolous civil lawsuits in federal court, but also included sending documents to IRS employees expounding sovereign citizens’ beliefs stating that Glavin was exempt from taxes.  These documents included fictitious promissory notes for $75,000.

Judge Crabb also noted that while on pretrial supervision in this case, Glavin mailed sovereign citizen documents to government officials in connection with a civil foreclosure action on Glavin's home filed in Juneau County Circuit Court.  These documents included fictitious financial instruments purportedly issued by the U.S. Treasury Department for use in paying off Glavin's home foreclosure debt.

Finally, the Court noted that Glavin's conduct included serving as the “Governor of the Wisconsin Republic Free State” in the Sovereign Citizens for Liberty movement. This included Glavin telling a police officer during a 2011 traffic stop that Glavin was an "American National" and not subject to police jurisdiction.

Judge Crabb denied Glavin's request for probation and home detention.  Glavin contended that his children would suffer extraordinary harm to their well-being by his incarceration.  Judge Crabb noted that Glavin, a former chiropractor who had his license suspended, had six months while on pretrial release to get a job and provide financially for his children, but he did not.  Instead, he chose to file more sovereign citizen documents to stop the foreclosure on his home. 

Judge Crabb found this conduct "crazy and self-centered."  She explained that the pain of Glavin's incarceration will certainly be greater for his family and wife, but that he knew the risks when he decided to follow "this ill-advised and ridiculous course."  Judge Crabb told Glavin, "When you started fooling around with your taxes you knew it would not have a good ending.  You put it all at risk."

The charges against Glavin are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.

Updated July 14, 2015