another loss for the people who are fighting the federal income tax.

Anti-tax author gets sentenced to 13-year term

Associated Press Feb. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

LAS VEGAS - Anti-tax crusader and author Irwin Schiff was sentenced Friday to more than 13 years in federal prison for advising people that no U.S. law requires them to pay income tax.

Schiff, 78, accused the government of trying to suppress the truth, while his lawyer argued that he was mentally ill.

Schiff's earlier boast from the witness stand that he had helped thousands of followers avoid paying $2 billion in taxes was used against him at sentencing.

"Thousands of tax returns, millions and maybe billions of dollars lost," U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson said as he branded Schiff and his Las Vegas company, Freedom Books, "a flimflam operation" that encouraged others to evade taxes.

The judge also ordered Schiff to pay more than $4.2 million in restitution.

Schiff was convicted Oct. 24 of conspiracy, tax evasion and tax fraud.

His defiance and ramblings while serving as his own lawyer at trial got him an extra year in prison for contempt of court.

Schiff remained defiant Friday, declaring: "There is no law that required me to pay the tax."

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