Man cites Bible as reason he stopped filing tax returns in 1995


PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man has been convicted of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and failing to file tax returns.

James Kerr Schlosser, 59, of Bird-in-Hand, stopped filing federal income tax returns in 1995, according to Acting United States Attorney Lou Lappen.

Schlosser, a manufacturer’s representative for companies that sell medical equipment to health care providers, tried to conceal income he earned by assigning his income to multiple foreign business trusts and corporate entities he created and registered with the Nevada Secretary of State. He used Nevada-based mail forwarding services to have the income sent to either himself in Pennsylvania or other people he convinced to serve as trustees for the foreign business trusts.

During his trial, evidence showed that Schlosser failed to file tax returns for about 20 years, despite the fact that he realized gross receipts of about $2.3 million from 1994 through 2014.

The Department of Justice says in a release Schlosser testified in his own defense, telling the jury that he refused to file tax returns because the use of a Social Security number represented the “mark of the beast,” which is a nod to a passage in the Bible.

Sentencing for Schlosser is scheduled on June 10 before United States District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl.

Schlosser faces a maximum of five years behind bars, a fine of $450,000 and the cost of prosecution.

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