Tom Cryer

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I fought the law
and the law won

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To convolute
and distort

Tom Cryer (he's a whiner all right) (1949-2012) was a Louisiana lawyer and longtime promoter of various tax protester schemes. Cryer ran a Time Cube-esque website called "The Lie-Free Zone" that outlines a variety of disproved and rejected theories for the illegality of the federal income tax, as well as bizarre pictures of dragons, Abraham Lincoln, and huge amounts of CAPSLOCK.

In October 2006, Cryer was indicted on two counts of tax evasion.[1] In March 2007, two counts of willful failure to timely file tax returns were added to the charges.[2] The indictment alleged that Cryer evaded over $73,000 in taxes in 2000 and 2001 by using a trust to receive payments of dividends, interests and stock income.

Several charges were eventually dropped from the criminal complaint, and because Cryer claimed that he really did believe that he was not liable for income tax he was able to finagle a not guilty verdict from the jury for willful failure to file.[3] This tactic is commonly known as the cheek defense (from Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192).

While Cryer's acquittal was based solely on the technicality of the definition of willful and not based on the merit of any of his legal arguments (and despite having been convicted under civil law and forced to pay back taxes) he has still become a bit of a legend in tax protester circles. History has been rewritten by the Kool-Aid drinkers that somehow Cryer's acquittal validates the central thesis of the illegality of the income tax. This is, of course, patently absurd and completely wrong.

Cryer was not done though and in December 2007 sued the federal government for bringing criminal charges against him. This lawsuit was unceremoniously rejected shortly thereafter.[4]

[edit] References

  1. Local attorney indicted on tax evasion charges
  2. See Superseding Indictment, docket entry 37, March 28, 2007, United States v. Cryer, case no. 5:06-cr-50164-SMH-MLH-ALL, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division.
  3. Loresha Wilson, "Local attorney acquitted on Federal income tax charges," July 13, 2007, Shreveport Times, at [1]
  4. Cryer v. United States, 2008-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) paragr. 50,361 (W.D. La. 2008); Memorandum Ruling, p. 6, docket entry 8, May 9, 2008, case no. 5:07-cv-02206-DEW-MLH, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Shreveport).
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