Tax Protester’s Conviction Properly Upheld
Gregory E. Pflum of Saint Marys, Kansas, plead guilty in 2007 to one count of attempting to evade income taxes by failing to file a tax return. At the time Mr. Pflum maintained that income tax laws did not apply to him. Despite repeated warnings, he stopped filing tax returns and followed his father’s example by transferring his assets into trusts for the purpose of evading taxes. Pflum’s father, David G. Pflum, was found guilty of tax evasion in 2004 and sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.
In his plea, Pflum admitted that he stopped submitting annual tax returns and paying income tax after going to work for Coil Spring Specialties in St. Marys, Kansas, where he worked from 1990 to 2003. When representatives of the Internal Revenue Service contacted him, he responded by giving them materials supplied by lawyers and tax advisers who were part of a tax protester movement and were referred to him by his father. He challenged the tax system and told IRS representatives that he did not intend to pay income taxes.
He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and to pay more than $8 million in restitution.
Mr. Pflum appealed his conviction afterward, contending he is not obligated to pay taxes to the federal government. In his brief to this court, he states:
The essence of this case is this Court’s (1) dereliction of its duty to know, understand, and declare the law with respect to the controlling definition of the meaning of the word “United States,” as legislated by Congress 26 U.S.C 7701(a)(9) and 28 U.S.C. 3002(15), and the United States Constitution. Article III Sect. 2, (2) denigration of Pflum for exclusive reliance on and usage of said controlling definition and meanings of all of Pflum’s filings, (3) insistence that the Court, a court of general jurisdiction has authority to hear and decide cases in geographic area fixed by the Constitution exclusively for courts of special jurisdiction; specifically Pottawatomie County, Kansas.
The Appeals Court reviewed Mr. Pflum’s brief and found no reasoned support for these arguments, and concluded the arguments raised were utterly meritless. See Ford v. Pryor, 552 F.3d 1174, 1177 n.2 (10th Cir. 2008) (“Such tax-protestor arguments have long been held to be lacking in legal merit and frivolous.”); Lonsdale v. United States, 919 F.2d 1440, 1448 (10th Cir. 1990) (listing tax-protestor arguments that courts have found “completely lacking in legal merit and patently frivolous”).
The judgment of the district court was affirmed, and all pending motions, including Mr. Pflum’s motions to dismiss and to release, were denied as moot.