Lawrence Martin Birk, from Colorado, was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury in Denver, CO after a one-week trial.
Birk was the sole owner of Tarryall River Log Homes, LLC, and considered himself a tax defier. For more than 20 years, Birk didn’t pay federal income taxes. It wasn’t until the IRS started collection efforts, including visiting Birk at his home, that he hired a firm to prepare 8 years of back taxes. Birk was not honest with the firm and omitted $400,000 of retirement income distributions that he funneled through a sham company. Even after filing these returns, Birk refused to pay what was owed. He sent the IRS threatening letters using frivolous tax arguments from known tax defier organizations such as the “We the People” foundation and the “Tax Honesty” movement.
The IRS took steps to seize the money from Birk’s bank accounts, and after he was notified about the pending seizure, he purchased cashier’s checks to reduce his balance and impede the IRS’ ability to collect. Birk’s outstanding tax liabilities, including taxes, penalties and interest were over $2 million for the years 1998 to 2005. He has not filed tax returns or made any tax payments since 2006. Sentencing is pending.