Brian Leo Snow appeared in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Thursday and pleaded guilty to the following charges — filing a false retaliatory lien against a government official and filing a false claim.
Snow faces up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for November 28.
Originally, Snow was charged in a 12-indictment in May with impeding the internal revenue laws, eight counts of filing false liens and three counts of filing false claims.
According to the indictment, prosecutors say Snow has not filed timely and accurate federal income tax returns from 2000 to 2008, and as of August 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 financing statements against those seeking to collect his back taxes; and by 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 claimed zero taxable income. In more recent years, Snow filed three returns claiming the IRS owed him $19 million, $31 million and $93 million.