Brian Leo Snow was indicted in U.S. District Court in Knoxville earlier this week on the following charges:
— Impeding the internal revenue laws.
— Filing a false retaliatory lien against a government official (eight counts).
— Filing false claims (three counts).
A detention hearing is scheduled to take place Friday morning in Knoxville. If convicted, Snow faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the tax obstruction charge, 10 years in prison on each of the false retaliatory lien counts and five years in prison on each of the false claims counts.
According to the indictment, prosecutors say Snow has not filed timely and accurate federal income tax returns since at least 1999, and as of August of 2016 he has an outstanding tax balance of more than $154,000.
Snow obstructed the IRS for at least nine years by, among other things, filing false tax returns, filing false financial statements against those seeking to collect his back taxes, and filing a document with the Hawkins County Register of Deeds in an attempt to terminate tax liens filed against him by the IRS.
In response to IRS collection efforts, Snow allegedly filed false retaliatory liens worth millions of dollars against government officials, including an IRS revenue officer, an assistant United States attorney and a federal judge, court records state.
The indictment also charges that Snow filed three false claims with the IRS claiming more than $144 million in tax refunds to which he was not entitled. Prosecutors also say Snow made frivolous arguments to the IRS about why he didn’t have to pay tax and claimed that IRS collection letters were “counterfeit securities.”
In an attempt to collect the back taxes, the IRS sent multiple notices to Snow over the years, filed liens against his property and seized several of his vehicles and sold them at auction.
Court records show that Snow eventually filed a number of income tax returns years late and falsely claiming zero taxable income. In more recent years, Snow reportedly filed three returns claiming the IRS owed him $19 million, $31 million and $93 million.