Lying lawyer’s tax lament: “The Internet made me do it!”

Attorney Micaela Dutson and her husband hid more than $1 million of income. They didn’t file tax returns. They helped clients avoid paying almost $7 million in taxes. They told others that as “sovereign citizens” they didn’t have to pay income taxes.

And this week — you knew this was coming — the Oregon-based Dutsons were sentenced to 10 years in prison for their highly unlawyerly activities.

In a last-ditch bid for leniency at sentencing, Micaela Dutson tried to blame…the Internet! Yes!! In her own words, as reported by Helen Jung of The Oregonian:

“I have learned one thing for sure,” she said. “No matter what kind of information I hear or see on the Internet, I’m not going to act on it. That’s for sure, because I don’t ever want to be here again because this is the worst thing ever.”

Maybe the Internet also inspired them to file a $1 trillion lien (that is NOT a typo) against IRS employees, as law professor Paul L. Caron noted previously at his excellent TaxProf Blog.

That’s the thing about the Internet: you start out maybe inhaling a little free-verse poetry off the laptop in your parents’ basement, and the next thing you know you’re conspiring to defraud the IRS. Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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