The Daily News Journal
Murfreesboro , TN
November 21, 2003
Readyville man convicted of tax evasion
NASHVILLE A federal court jury convicted a Readyville man Thursday
on charges of income tax evasion, the IRS reported.
Sherree W. Preston, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal
Investigation in Nashville , reported a jury for the Middle District
of Tennessee returned a guilty verdict against Rickey Paul Brunet,
41, of Readyville.
Brunet was named in a superseding indictment in June that charged him
with four counts of income tax evasion.
Following a two-day trial, the jury convicted Brunet on all four
counts. Brunet will be sentenced Feb. 9 and faces up to 20 years in
prison and fines up to $1 million.
The government's proof established that Brunet, a computer-aided
design draftsman, failed to file income tax returns with the IRS for
the calendar years 1996-98 even though he had income requiring him to
file such returns, the IRS reported.
Brunet attempted to cause his Social Security number to be concealed
from the IRS and filed an "exempt" Form W-4 with a company called
Westaff, stating he was exempt from federal withholding, the IRS
The proof showed that shortly after receiving a tax assessment
notification from the IRS, Brunet caused the title to his personal
residence, located at 11661 Bradyville Pike in Readyville, to be
transferred to "The Home Trust" in an attempt to prevent the IRS from
levying or seizing the home to satisfy his tax debt.
Evidence also established he transferred the title to his two
vehicles to "The Partnership Trust" in an attempt to evade IRS
Brunet testified during the trial in mid-1995 he joined a group named
Save-A-Patriot Fellowship, an organization that questions the legal
interpretation of the tax code, and began researching the tax law.
He told the jurors he could not find in his research any information
that would lead him to conclude that the Internal Revenue Code made
him liable to file individual income tax returns or pay individual
The courts have repeatedly rejected these arguments as frivolous, the
Testimony from other witnesses during the trial showed that
individuals from this Save-A-Patriot Fellowship Organization have
been convicted of federal tax crimes and have served prison sentences
for following or acting upon these same types of anti-tax arguments.
"As evidenced by this jury's decision, this verdict sends a clear
message that tax evasion is a serious crime against the American
public," said Preston . "Generally, all income, regardless of the
source, is fully taxable and the IRS is committed to investigating
and recommending for prosecution those who raise these frivolous tax
arguments to avoid payment of federal taxes."
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation Special
Agent George J. Villhard III.