The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 31, 2013

Sovereign citizen sentenced to 18 years in tax evasion

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Attorney's officials say the self-proclaimed leader of sovereign citizens group has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison on tax evasion charges.

Officials say James Timothy Turner, president of a group known as "Republic for the united State of America," was sentenced Wednesday.

Authorities say Turner, tried using fraudulent methods to pay taxes and lied under oath during a bankruptcy proceeding — among other offenses.

Turner became the target of an investigation after he and others sent letters to the governors of all 50 states demanding that they leave office.

Authorities say Turner toured the country in 2008 and 2009 teaching people how to submit bonds to pay off tax debts. Authorities say the bonds were fake and were often written for more than $1 billion each.

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