A former child star-turned-“sovereign citizen” was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for scamming the Internal Revenue out of $36 million.
Glenn Unger, who performed on Broadway as a child, filed 14 false tax returns seeking IRS refunds between 2007 and 2011 as part of his anti-government, anti-tax views.
"Mr. Unger is trying to do everything in his power to bring down the United States of America," said Judge Thomas McAvoy. "There's no surer way to tear down this country than from the inside, and that's exactly what he tried to do."
The judge imposed the maximum 97-month sentence and also ordered the 62-year-old Unger to spend three years on probation after his release from federal prison, reported the Albany Times-Union.
Unger held a Bible as he delivered a rambling speech about his devotion to Jesus Christ, whose death he described in graphic detail, and called his criminal prosecution the best experience in his life.
The self-proclaimed “sovereign citizen” recalled watching syndicated talk shows such as Jerry Springer and Maury Povich with his fellow inmates at the Rensselaer County jail and explained his introduction to the term “baby mamas.”
Then Unger told the judge he forgave him and two other federal judges and asked God to bless them and anyone else involved in the case.
But the judge called Unger, who worked as an orthodontist, a hypocrite for refusing to pay taxes that others must pay.
"While he espouses his love for people who are underprivileged he's willfully stealing from them," McAvoy said. "Greed is this man's central character."
Unger disseminated his anti-tax message on Internet broadcasts and during seminars teaching tax fraud schemes in Albany under the name “Dr. Sam Kennedy.”
He attracted FBI attention in 2010 after the sovereign citizens group he co-founded, Guardians of the Free Republic, sent letters warning each U.S. governor they could be “removed.”
He claimed the group had members drawn from “the upper echelons of military intelligence” and operates “within the law ... to restore the original republic.”
Unger was arrested in December 2012 but refused to give police his name, identifying himself instead as a “1922 silver dollar coin,” an apparent reference to the United States leaving the gold standard.
Prosecutors said Unger, who left his dental practice in 2006, had not filed legal tax returns since 1999.
Unger referred 80 patients to another orthodontist when he left his practice, but he failed to mention those patients had prepaid him for dental work and gave the other dentist a false promissory note of $200,000.
He must pay back that money.
[Image: Angry Male Judge In A Courtroom Striking The Gavel And Pronounces Sentence via Shutterstock]