For Media Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Samantha Cheek (CheekS@sctax.org)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMarch 01, 2011
Liberty Man Convicted of Tax Evasion
Columbia, SC --- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced February 23, 2011, that Leldon Thomas Oates of Liberty, SC was convicted of five counts of willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax and one count of failure to pay a tax, file a return, or maintain records. The ruling came after a two-day criminal trial in the Pickens County Court of General Sessions.
During the trial, Oates argued that he was not required to file or pay income taxes for tax years 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Oats claimed that his "extensive tax research" had convinced him that, under IRS regulations, his wages were not income, and that he was not a "person" within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code.
Circuit Court Judge G. Edward Welmaker sentenced Oates to 11 months in prison. In addition, upon completion of that sentence, the Judge sentenced Oates on the remaining charges to consecutive sentences totaling 10 years, but suspended that sentence upon the completion of 5 years' probation, 300 hours of community service, and the payment of $11,003 in delinquent State income taxes.
With the completion of criminal prosecution, auditors from the SCDOR and IRS will apply further civil penalties and interest charges where appropriate.