What a shock: Another half-clever tax cheat gets convicted

Robert Kahre, a hero to Libertarians who dream of an American life that doesn’t include paying your taxes, joins Irwin Schiff and a long list of other half-slick operators whose schemes resulted in sweeping convictions in federal court. On Friday, Kahre was convicted of all 57 charges against him.

Kahre has been described as a patriot with a plan in some circles, but in the end he was just another guy who got nabbed. His idea wasn’t unique, but it captured the imagination of a number of locals. He circulated gold and silver coins to his employees as pay for their work, then exchanged the gold for cash in an effort to avoid paying withholding taxes. Kahre’s scheme was a private joke around IRS Criminal Investigation circles, where agents couldn’t believe the guy would put himself and his family in jeopardy with such a muddle-headed plan. Kahre, it should be noted, was also engaged in fraudulent real estate transactions.

In the end, Kahre did indeed discover a way to avoid paying taxes and live at government expense. He now faces up to 296 years in prison.