Man cites Bible as reason he stopped filing tax returns in 1995

PHILADELPHIA (WHTM) – A Lancaster County man was convicted of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and failing to file tax returns.

James Kerr Schlosser, 59, of Bird-in-Hand, stopped filing federal income tax returns in 1995, according to Acting United States Attorney Lou Lappen.

Schlosser, a manufacturer’s representative for companies that sell medical equipment to health care providers, tried to conceal income he earned by assigning his income to multiple foreign business trusts and corporate entities he created and registered with the Nevada Secretary of State. He used Nevada-based mail forwarding services to have the income sent to either himself in Pennsylvania or other people he convinced to serve as trustees for the foreign business trusts.

During his trial, evidence showed that Schlosser failed to file tax returns for about 20 years, despite the fact that he realized gross receipts of about $2.3 million from 1994 through 2014.

The Department of Justice said in a release that Schlosser testified in his own defense, telling the jury that he refused to file tax returns because the use of a Social Security Number represented the “mark of the beast,” which is a nod to a passage in the Bible.

Sentencing for Schlosser is scheduled on June 10 before United States District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl.

Schlosser faces a maximum of five years behind bars, a fine of $450,000 and the cost of prosecution. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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