The former Potsdam orthodontist found guilty of trying to bilk $36 million from the Internal Revenue Service filed 14 false tax returns, according to prosecutors.
Glenn R. Unger, 62, who now lists an Ogdensburg address, could face 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 as a result of the federal jury decision Monday in Albany.
He was found guilty of obstructing and impeding the IRS, filing false claims against the United States, tax evasion, and passing fictitious obligations. He will be sentenced March 10 by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.
“This trial detailed the callous contempt for state and federal authority that is the hallmark of the sovereign citizen movement,” said Richard S. Hartunian, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.
Evidence at trial showed that between 2007 and 2011, Unger filed 14 false tax returns claiming that he earned substantial income reported, had substantial withholdings on that income, and was entitled to $36 million in tax refunds.
Despite numerous warning letters from the IRS that his returns were frivolous, he continued filing false tax returns, prosecutors said. In addition to obstructing the IRS by filing false and fraudulent claims for refund, the evidence at trial also showed that Unger attempted to evade payment of taxes he owed to the IRS.
During 2004 and 2005, Unger earned income and failed to file tax returns reporting that income, prosecutors said.
The IRS assessed taxes for those two years and also assessed penalties for filing frivolous tax returns. After the IRS filed a tax lien against Unger, he attempted to file a false document with the Saratoga County Clerk’s office attempting to release the lien.
Evidence at trial also showed that Unger tried to pay off a debt to another orthodontist with a fictitious document purported to be worth $200,000.
The prosecution resulted from an investigation conducted by the IRS, Federal Bureau of Investigation, state police, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ransom P. Reynolds of the Northern District of New York and Jeffrey Bender of the Department of Justice Tax Division.