Brian Leo Snow, 55, appeared in U.S. District Court in Knoxville last week for sentencing. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to filing a false retaliatory lien against a government official and filing a false claim.
Snow faced up to 15 years in prison.
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 did not file timely and accurate federal income tax returns from 2000 to 2008, and as of August 2016 he had 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 financal 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 over $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 taxes, about how he was a “sovereign citizen” 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.