This article was originally published by the US~Observer.
Waukesha County, Wis. — District attorneys and government taxing authorities throughout the country are repeatedly coming down hard on individuals and entities they view as lawbreakers attempting to sidestep their taxation responsibilities. In most cases they are attempting to make an example out of them as a deterrent for others.
Often, these individuals are anything but lawbreakers; they are merely patriotic people who have allowed themselves to become conned by a growing list of individuals and organizations spewing propaganda that the U.S. taxation system is unConstitutional and that, even according to Internal Revenue tax code, the average citizen is not subject to the income tax.
Much of what these individuals and organizations offer in the way of evidence can be very convincing. They use actual documentation and manuals produced directly by the Internal Revenue Service and many State departments of revenue in conjunction with the law itself, and they apply certain implications that would make even some of the best legal scholars think twice. Many of these patriots are suckered into spending thousands of dollars with these tax-advice cons in efforts to supposedly learn the methods to hold their government responsible for unlawfully siphoning money from their pockets.
One such patriot is Michael Gengler from Wisconsin. Gengler and his brother learned of a local “tax group” through a work associate and they began attending some meetings. This group chartered itself with educating people of the overreaches of the government and attempting to help individuals they viewed as victims of the government. They then attempted to get them in contact with local or national entities that could allegedly help these patriots.
Many of the members, with the help of these organizations, often boasted of victory, holding up checks from the IRS where money reportedly taken as a tax collection was being returned to them. Many national organized groups like We the People were bringing their arguments to Congress and other government entities where their questions and evidence were met with silence. One filmmaker, Aaron Russo, created documentaries where he interviewed the IRS commissioner and several politicians who all refused to answer for the claims against them. The evidence seemed so overwhelming, how could someone like Gengler not fall victim?
Gengler, like many of the other attendees, quickly became infatuated with ideas that a government that is supposed to be doing the work of the people was actually taking advantage of the people. Just like countless people before him, Gengler was drawn into the con, making him feel he was becoming part of something bigger than himself, a sociopolitical movement that could not only attempt to hold government responsible to the people again but also help those viewed to have become the victims of the government.
After several years of becoming very active in the movement and spending thousands of dollars with the tax-advice cons to educate himself and others in an attempt to find the silver bullet that would unravel the lies believed to be hidden in a web of government cover-up, Gengler found himself in trouble with the State of Wisconsin. Under the direction of Vern Barnes from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WDOR), Waukesha District Attorney Brad Schimel in January 2012, criminally charged Gengler with multiple felony counts of tax fraud.
Gengler spent several months communicating his beliefs and positions to the DA, attempting to learn why his office felt what he had done was criminal. The only response Gengler ever received was that he was considered a taxpayer and, therefore, needs to pay his taxes.
Unsatisfied with the response from Schimel and further convinced he was being wrongfully charged with a crime, Gengler contacted the US~Observer. However, instead of finding another advocacy that would further instill the web of deceptions Gengler had been consuming for years, he met Edward Snook, who began painting a picture quite contradictory to his beliefs.
After countless hours of phone conversations, Snook was able to factually explain the issues and convince Gengler that he had been deceived by providing him example after example of others like him who had chosen to stick with their misguided beliefs, only to have suffered the consequences of the legal system.
In November 2012, Snook sent Schimel a letter explaining to him that Gengler’s actions had all been in good faith and was only acting upon beliefs he formed, listening to those who deceived him. The letter also reinforced the fact that he was able to convince Gengler of his false beliefs and that Gengler would be making efforts to correct things. Snook urged Schimel to also do the right thing and meet Gengler halfway, where both parties could walk away whole.
On Dec. 20, 2013, Schimel responded to Snook, indicating that he was skeptical of Gengler’s turnaround since “he made those arguments repeatedly and vehemently” that he felt he was not subject to the income tax. Schimel’s letter went on to say, “No member of my team has any desire to ruin Mr. Gengler. If Mr. Gengler wishes to demonstrate that he has had a change of heart relative to his legal obligations, the ball is in his court.”
Consistent with how Gengler has always viewed himself as a responsible citizen trying to keep the government honest, Gengler — now realizing he was incorrect and the ball was certainly in his court — immediately filed all of his tax returns and started making past and present tax payments. Over the next six months, Gengler spent more than $15,000 in legal fees and payments to the IRS and State of Wisconsin showing that actions do speak louder than words.
DA Deceives Gengler And US~Observer
As this case was being resolved, Schimel’s office “did a 360” and forced Gengler to plead guilty to a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. In doing so, Schimel totally deceived the US~Observer and Gengler, who said: “I thank God for Mr. Snook’s help as I would have been stuck in the tax arguments for probably the rest of my life and there is no question that I would have been sent directly to prison. Mr. Snook stopped this, but I’m really disappointed in the DA for basically lying to us.”
Gengler related that Snook is still preparing an effort to attack his case politically and hold Schimel accountable.
I would pose the following questions to Schimel. Why did you deceive Gengler and the US~Observer, and why in the world would you abuse a victim of deceit and false information and not go after the real perpetrators: the tax-advice cons?
In the end, Snook will get his pound of flesh and Schimel will be sorry that he deceived the wrong people.
Editor’s Note: DA Schimel is currently running for Wisconsin’s Attorney General. If he is deceptive now as the District Attorney, one would have to wonder how he would act as AG. Perhaps the fine people of Wisconsin shouldn’t take the risk in finding out.