Members of anti-tax group; charged with conspiracy to defraud U.S.
BY JOHN SWINCONECK Times Record Staff
Two Brunswick men that are members of a tax-protest group now face prison — and one may have to pay $1 million in fines — for failing to pay taxes on income earned from renting space for communication towers.
F. William Messier, 70, and David E. Robinson, 75 (actually 78), were indicted by a federal grand jury in Portland and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the Internal Revenue Services.
Messier was also charged with failure to file income tax returns for the years 2008 through 2012, and corruptly endeavoring to impede the IRS.
The indictment was announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II and Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice Ronald A. Cimino.
According to court papers, Messier has not filed a federal income tax return since 1997. The IRS assessed taxes, interest and penalties against Messier totaling $172,000 for the years 2000 to 2004.
According to the announcement, from 2006 to 2012, Messier earned more than $390,000 in gross income from renting antennae space on radio communication towers that Messier owned and by renting access to his property to customers who constructed their own communications towers or located electronic equipment on the property.
The news release stated that Robinson claims to be the “Interim Attorney General” of the “Maine Republic Free State.”
The indictment alleges that after the IRS sent Notices of Levy to Messier’s customers, Robinson and Messier took a number of steps beginning in 2012 to obstruct and impede the IRS, including presenting the IRS with a fake and worthless money order for the amount due by Messier, and sending threatening and harassing documents to Messier’s customers urging them not to cooperate with the IRS.
Messier faces up to 13 years in prison and fines totaling $1 million if convicted on all counts.
Robinson faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
An indictment is an accusation that must still be proven in a court of law.
According to a statement on http://MaineRepublicEmailAlert.com the two men are preparing their rebuttal.
The site lists Robinson as the founder of the Unified Maine Common Law Grand Jury and the Maine Republic Free State Trust.
Messier is listed on the site as “a fellow member of the Maine Republic Free State Trust.”
Robinson’s biography on the site lists him as “a journalist and author living in the Mid-coast area of Maine” who has “served as a Grand Juror seated under Summons on the Cumberland County Maine Grand Jury for the first four months of 2014.”
Robinson is listed as the Maine contact for the National Liberty Alliance, which warns in a YouTube video against a “New World Order” controlled by government and corporations that will lead to a “Nazi Germany genocide.”
Citing the Bible and Bill of Rights, the Alliance envisions so-called “Common Law Grand Juries” in every United States county accountable only to God that will expose fraud and corruption.
Efforts to reach Robinson via email were unsuccessful Thursday, and a contact for Messier could not be found.
In October 2012, Robinson and Messier sued the IRS, the town of Brunswick, the U.S. Senate, the United States, and a slew of telecommunications companies, arguing that they had no obligation to pay federal income tax on land leased in Brunswick to several telecommunications companies.
The suit contented that “federal income tax is not binding and that the IRS has no authority to levy,” according to a magistrate’s written recommendation to dismiss the suit.
“The complaint randomly incorporates extrinsic documents, such as ‘Maine Republic Email Alerts,’ espousing extreme tax-protester views. The complaint alleges that Messier has no federal income tax liabilities and that the IRS’s levies to his customers were wrongful,” according to the magistrate.
That suit was dismissed in 2013.
Robinson and Messier are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland on Sept. 5 on the conspiracy to defraud charges. The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation.
F. WILLIAM MESSIER, 70, and David E. Robinson, 75 (actually 78), were indicted by a federal grand jury in Portland and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the Internal Revenue Services.
TO BE INFORMED OF MESSIER AND ROBINSON’S RESPONSE VISIT: