FARMINGTON, UTAH: Chase Allan was shot 12 times by Farmington Police Department cops during a traffic stop on Wednesday, March 1. The 25-year-old was arrested after cops noticed he didn’t have a legitimate license plate and instead had a plate that read “American State Citizen, Utah” and featured the American seal, which many have described as a symbol of sovereign citizenship.
Although Allan’s personal beliefs are not definitively known, there were several clues that he identified with the sovereign citizen movement, which has been described as a group of people who do not believe they are bound by the laws of the land in which they reside. without a legitimate license plate, refusing to cooperate with law enforcement, and demanding absolute independence are typical among members of the movement, as noted by Vice. Actor Wesley Snipes apparently once identified himself as a sovereign citizen or “non-resident alien” while battling the IRS on tax evasion charges.
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It should be noted that Allan’s family rejected the term “sovereign citizen” and instead described him as a “person of a United States state”. Allan’s sister, Courtney Vandegrift, told Heavy in a statement, “The term sovereign citizen has been used by some entities to weaponize government and law enforcement against the people.” However, sovereign citizen expert Christine Sarteschi told Vice that “apart from a small difference in nomenclature, they are identical”.
Sovereign citizens “believe they are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government and consider themselves exempt from U.S. law,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They use a variety of conspiracy theories and lies to justify their beliefs and activities, some of which are illegal and violent. According to the SPLC, the roots of the movement are “racist and anti-Semitic.”
Wesley Snipes tax case
Like Chase and his family, actor Wesley Snipes has also previously been identified as part of the Sovereign Citizen movement. Snipes, popular for his work in movies like the ‘Blade’ vampire trilogy, has become an unlikely face for the movement, many of whose members believe Americans don’t have to pay income taxes and the government illegally taxing its citizens.
In 2006, Snipes, anti-tax attorney Eddie Ray Kahn and former CPA Douglas Rosile were charged with eight counts alleging tax evasion, conspiracy and willful failure to file returns. Following the indictment, Snipes sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service stating that he was a “nonresident alien” of the United States. He refuted his social security number and warned federal employees that continuing the lawsuits could have job consequences for them. The document also claims that the IRS deceives people to “terrorize, enslave, rape, or plunder” taxpayers.
Actor Wesley Snipes arrives at family court on October 6, 2005 in New York (Thos Robinson/Getty Images)
Alert the taxman
Snipes said in the 600-page statement that he had “no malicious or malicious intent” and did not want to evade any legal obligation to pay taxes. However, he insisted the government had “no legal authority to impose criminal penalties of any kind”. The actor said he had no US taxable income and that IRS Form 1040 was “absolutely the wrong form to fill out”, adding that the taxes withheld were “stolen funds”. The document also warned that the federal government’s “unlawful collecting action” would result in “significant personal liability” for those involved. “Warning – pursuing such a high-profile target will open the door to your increased collateral risk,” Snipes wrote. “I certainly don’t think it’s in your best interest and can be avoided.” At the time, Snipes’ attorney Robert Barnes denied that the letter was intended as a threat. “Not at all, not at all,” he said in the Ocala Star-Banner. “Much of it was very sweet.”
In 2008, a jury found Snipes not guilty on two counts of fraud and conspiracy. The comedian involved was also acquitted of three counts of failing to file tax returns or pay taxes from 2002 to 2004. However, he was found guilty of failing to file returns or pay taxes. taxes from 1999 to 2001 and was sentenced to three years in prison. prison. Yet Snipes’ big win was that his persistence led to his acquittal of tax evasion and conspiracy charges, for which he would have faced up to 16 years if convicted. Meanwhile, Kahn and Rosile were both convicted of tax evasion and conspiracy and received longer prison sentences than Snipes, Forbes reported.