Attorney Oscar A. Stilley
A Legend in His Own Mind
By: Bill E. Branscum
Copyright 2006 & 2009

"Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," . . . blah, blah, blah

That nonsense is all over the Internet, and the babbling rabble cannot even write their own ad copy.

There is [or was] an attorney named Oscar Amos Stilley - at least they got that part right. According to the US Department of Justice, whether he will continue to practice law, or wind up being a genuine "jail house lawyer," is anybody's guess. [Be Sure and See Update 2009 below].

The, "Oscar Stilley's PRA Defense Checkmated the DOJ and IRS," story relates to his defense of Robert Lawrence in a tax related case in the Central District of Illinois, 06-CR-10019. Oscar Stilley, and his Kemosabe sidekick Lindsey K. Springer, claim to have won that case, and I suppose they did, but they have been wildly disingenuous as to "how," and "why" they won.

Having read "their version," of this remarkable "victory," as it is plastered all over the Net, I discussed the matter with Gerry Brost, the AUSA who handled (and moved to dismiss) the case, IRS Special Agent Kathy McBride the Case Agent, and defense attorney Oscar A. Stilley.

Stilley was a wellspring of bubbling enthusiasm, who would have had me believe that he and Springer had orchestrated a brilliant defense predicated upon the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), a "thrilling" development that "promised to bring an end to the IRS." They had "brilliantly" asserted that the IRS Form 1040 did not comply with the PRA, and argued that the PRA had a provision that no government agency could punish anyone for failing to file a defective form . . . a frivolous argument that has been circulating around for years, with a remarkable lack of success in the Courts.

I would like to be able to tell you what Stilley said in response to the questions I wanted to ask of him, but I had introduced myself as writing an article for this web site, and I could hear his keyboard clicking in the background as he talked. For some reason, probably something he saw on the home page that discomfitted him, Stilley abruptly cut off his spiel in mid-sentence, having suddenly discovered that he had something else he had to do.

I really regret that, as I wanted to ask him about the difference between his version of the story, and the version of the story as explained in the Judge's Order.

"Additionally, during the telephone hearing on May 12, 2006, the Government
informed the Court and the Defendant that the Government had discovered errors in the dollar
amounts set forth in the indictment. The Government orally moved to amend the indictment
by interlineation. Defense counsel objected and the Court denied the motion. Later the same
day, the Government moved to dismiss all of the counts against Lawrence."

So there you have it. According to The Honorable Michael Mihm, United States District Court Judge, the Paperwork Reduction Act had nothing to do with the dismissal of this case. Just as the government argued in their Pleading, as supported by the Declaration of IRS Special Agent Kathy McBride, the government discovered that someone had made a significant math error in preparing the case, their motion to amend these erroneous calculations was denied, so they elected to dismiss the charges altogether.

The problem I have with this nonsense is this.

Suppose I find myself forced to play tennis with Andre Kirk Agassi, and let's further suppose that Andre Agassi has a laughing fit and falls over dead at the sight of my poor old tired butt on the other side of the net . . . does that mean that I can promote myself as a tennis pro, claiming to have killed Agassi with my wicked mean backhand?

C'mon . . . let's be real.

On the other hand, depending upon your particular reality, I suppose fantasy land has a wonderful appeal.

One reality is, the US Department of Justice recently objected to Stilley's involvement in another case saying,

"First, Mr. Stilley is the subject of a criminal investigation in the Northern District of Oklahoma. See
Exhibit 2. Second, on May 4, 2006, Mr. Stilley was suspended from the practice of law in the State
of Arkansas, a matter which Mr. Stilley omitted entirely from his application to appear pro
hac vice in this district."

"Moreover, as to the nature of the ongoing investigation in the Northern District of Oklahoma, the United
States cannot divulge specific details and certainly cannot violate the secrecy rules governing matters that may be occurring before a federal grand jury. However, in light of what is known, it is clear that Mr. Stilley’s situation may place him in a "position of choosing whether to help himself or his client or of pursuing anything less than a zealous appeal on behalf of his client because of any conflicting personal interest."

Yes indeed, it would be an unfunny, bad thing, to be defended by an attorney who turned out to be a "snitch." Not much room for argument there. There are a number of other allegations related to Stilley's personal and professional integrity in that document; you may read the government's memo in its entirety Here.

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but I should mention that Lindsey K. Springer is well aware that this PRA "silver bullet" that he is touting is a dud. He tried to use it in his own case in the United States District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, styled Lindsey K. Springer v. Internal Revenue Service, 06-CV-0110. You may read the Order and judge his success for yourself Here.

Oracle International
Bill E. Branscum, Investigator
(239) 304-1639

UPDATE 2009: Oscar Stilley, and his pal Lindsey Springer have been indicted for Conspiracy to Defraud, Tax Evasion, and Failure to File Tax Returns, and no wonder -- the Laurel and Hardy of the tax protester movement, these two knuckleheads haven't filed tax returns since the 1980's. Moreover, Stilley has been using his position as an attorney to facilitate tax evasion by running the income they sought to conceal through his law firm's trust account.

One cannot help but wonder if these guys have had enough of their own Kool-Aid to hire real lawyers, or if they propose to dazzle the Court with their patented PRA "Silver Bullet" defense. I suppose they might as well stick to their guns as, in the end, it isn't likely to make much difference. Intransigent stooopidity has washed them so far down the proverbial creek that no amount of smart is likely to be any help now.

LIndsey "Laurel" Springer faces a total of 22 years in Federal prison if convicted of all counts, and Oscar "Hardy" Stilley faces a total of 15 years in Federal prison if convicted of all counts . . . "another fine mess they've gotten into," but on the bright side, they won't be selling their Kool-Aid to anyone else anymore.

Predictions? If the Department of Justice offers them anything at all for saving the government the time and expense of trial, I would characterize that as a fit of munificent benevolence that they would do well to take advantage of.

Of course, a good lawyer would probably recognize, and capitalize upon, the government's Achilles Heel here. . . in my view, these two are a shoe-in for a successful insanity defense. Incurable skeptic, and inveterate cynic that I am, if someone want to argue that these two mopes are incompetent, I would have to concede that their incompetence is self-evident, and I'm fully convinced that they are nutz.

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