Man Holed Up in Home After Tax Verdict

The Associated Press
Thursday, January 18, 2007; 8:07 PM

CONCORD, N.H. -- A man who holed up in his house with armed supporters while being tried on tax evasion charges was convicted Thursday, along with his wife, of failing to pay federal income taxes for a decade.

Ed Brown has said he will defend himself against capture if necessary.

U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said Thursday that members of his staff continued talking by telephone with Brown and had no plans to confront him. Brown said he expected federal agents to swarm his property soon.

"Live free or die," he said in a telephone interview, quoting New Hampshire's motto. "What else can I say?"

Ed Brown's wife, Elaine, a dentist who earned most of the couple's income, has been staying with a son in Massachusetts and attended the trial.

The Browns, of Plainfield, contend they are not required to pay federal income tax. They stopped paying income taxes in 1996 and stopped filing returns in 1998, a prosecutor said. They could each face decades in prison; the government says they owe more than $625,000.

Elaine Brown testified about her research that led to her believe she did not need to pay taxes. Reading excerpts from the Constitution, Supreme Court decisions and other sources, she said ordinary labor, such as the work she performed at her dental practice, could not be taxed.

Courts have routinely rejected similar claims by other taxpayers.

Marshals now have to consider how to seize the Browns' assets. The jury was deliberating whether the Browns should lose their home.

Ed Brown stopped attending court midway through the trial, which began Jan. 9. His wife remains out on bail pending the couple's April 24 sentencing; she has said she loves her husband, but that his way of handling the case is not hers.

A man who answered the telephone at the Browns' house Thursday afternoon said Ed Brown could not come to the phone, but had expected a guilty verdict.

"He's here at the house, and he's not leaving of his own free will," said the man, who identified himself only as Bernie.

Ed Brown, a retired exterminator, has said he stayed home to protest a system that had already convicted him.

"Most Americans would cower and cringe and raise their hands and surrender like a good little slave," he told reporters at his home this week.

"I won't. Under no circumstances. I do not tolerate cowardliness, oppression, bulliness, and I certainly don't tolerate a federal agency that has absolutely zero jurisdiction in my state, never mind in my county, in my town."

© 2007 The Associated Press