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IRS has its sight on people claiming sovereign citizenship

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 8/30/2013 10:18 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Last week we learned of a plot by a couple wanting to kidnap and kill cops.

They're part of a so-called sovereign citizen’s movement. One of their go-to scams is not paying taxes. Now, as News 3's Sergio Avila reports, they're in the cross-hairs of the IRS.

In Las Vegas, IRS Special Agent in Charge, Paul Camacho has seen the sovereign movement growing.

He says sovereigns believe laws do not apply to them. In their minds, paying taxes is optional.

“Under the sovereign movement umbrella they think they've found an argument why the tax laws don't apply to them,” Camacho said.

That couldn't be further from the truth. Camacho says sovereigns typically file fraudulent documents to try and get around the law.

“In Vegas terms, this is a sucker’s bet,” Camacho said.

Former Henderson firefighter Dwight Jackson seen here in a YouTube video he posted in 2012 has been convicted and sentenced for tax evasion for sharing those beliefs.

Jackson in part claimed he made no income while a firefighter although he made nearly $250,000 in 2009.

“His salary came from tax dollars,” Camacho said. “Out of all the people that should be profoundly be aware of the importance of paying taxes, it's this individual.”

Jackson is currently appealing the court’s decision.

Although tax evasion is common among sovereigns they are known to be violent.

In 2010 Brandon Paudert was gunned down in west Memphis, Tenn. by sovereigns in broad daylight.

His father Bob Paudert was in Reno this week training officers on how to deal with what he calls a growing threat.

“These people will go at any extent to get to law enforcement. There are threats daily on law enforcement officers by sovereign extremists and they feel that we are their enemy,” said Bob Paudert

The FBI categorizes them as domestic terrorists.

Paudert says their members run the gamut between lowly people looking to not pay taxes, to attorneys, law enforcement officers and federal agents.

He travels the country getting officers ready.

“Our law enforcement strategies have to change, we're dealing with a new group, a new breed of people who are attacking every facet of our government because they don't believe in our government,” Paudert said.

Beliefs Camacho says, are a physical threat but also one that can bog down their system with fraudulent filings and mounds of paperwork.

Camacho says it's also a belief that so far has never been successful in a court of law.
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