It wasn’t the first time Uncle Sam had thrown Irwin Schiff in prison. But when he reported to start serving a 14 year sentence for “tax crimes” at age 77 he was fairly certain it would be the last.  He was right.

Irwin was a political prisoner. He was locked up as an example to those who might be inclined to ask the wrong questions about the modern application of the income tax. His trial was a model for federal “show trials,” devoid of fact evidence and laden with presumption, with a cooperative judge working with the DOJ to keep the defendant from presenting his case.

Irwin was not punished for crimes he committed. He was punished for government crimes he discovered and exposed.

After enduring a period of sadistic abuse that featured “diesel therapy” as chief among every day abuses of prison life, Mr. Schiff was placed in a prison close to his home and family. Later he was moved “for medical reasons” to a far more distant facility where visits were much less frequent because they were so much more difficult and expensive.

As irony would have it, he died of a neglected skin cancer for which he received no treatment at the special medical facility.

Two armed guards oversaw Irwin’s passing shackled to his death bed, unconcerned and unembarrassed by the absurd uselessness of their duty.

I hope there will always be a few among us who when they trip over the truth can’t just jump up and keep going as if they had never seen it, no matter the price of knowing the truth and saying what you know. Irwin was one of those people.

Irwin’s materials are still available. You can download his “Federal Mafia,” one of only two books ever banned by the federal government from his website, paynoincometax.com  The other banned book, by the way, according to Irwin’s son, Peter Schiff, was “Fanny Hill; Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure,” banned for obscenity in 1821 and 1963.

His son, investment adviser, Peter Schiff, wrote an obituary that I recommend. Death of a Patriot

Lysander

Lysander Venible is the author of "On Your Own in Tax Court," a book about how to save your shirt in U.S. tax court. He has been engaged with the Service for over 10 years both administratively and in tax court.

If you have questions, topics or a situation you'd like to discuss, his phone and email are at the top of every page.

Lysander is not an attorney and it is not his intent to offer legal advice.
Lysander