"Defendant is a serial fraudster with a long history of perpetrating financial crimes and wasting precious time and resources of the government and the courts." -- U.S. Attorney General in prison sentencing recommendation for Sean David Morton.
Federal prosecutors have recommended an 87 month prison sentence for Sean David Morton who was convicted in April 2017 of multiple felony counts of defrauding the United States government. You can read the recommendation filed by prosecutors here.
Prior to, throughout, and after the trial, Morton filed a number of bizarre motions with the court that include claiming the court had no jurisdiction over him, a befuddling document in which Morton named himself judge in his own court, a filing in which Morton proclaimed he was withdrawing from the rules of the IRS, a motion claiming his conviction should be withdrawn because the judge in the court wasn't legit, another filing attempting to change his initial plea after he was convicted, and the list goes on.
Prosecutors seeking the 87 month prison term wrote in their brief to the court:
"The Court is familiar with the multitude of nonsensical pleadings [Morton] filed and stated in Court throughout the course of this criminal case, which has not abated since his conviction. [Morton]’s pattern of conduct of filing unintelligible pleadings began weeks after the initial indictment of defendants...The day [Morton] was released from his arrest, he filed unintelligible pleadings..."
Apparently after his conviction, Morton had a meeting with the federal probation department and could not "provide the Probation Office with clear information regarding his financial condition. Defendant reported no income on his financial statement, but monthly expenses of $3,306, with no genuine explanation as to how he meets these expenses."
Morton filed so much paperwork in a clear effort to misdirect, obstruct, and delay the court in prosecuting the case, what is referred to as paper terrorism tactics, the prosecutors are asking for a sentencing enhancement which is designed to punish offenders who attempt to bury the courts in legal filings and other paperwork:
"The design of the aforementioned conduct of defendant is crystal clear: to burden the court system, harass the prosecutors and the Court, and delay the administration of justice. One of the goals of the “sovereign citizen” criminal subculture is the harassment and burdening of courts with mountains of frivolous paperwork – what some courts have referred to as “paper terrorism” tactics – in an effort to degrade the court system over time and make it more difficult to efficiently resolve cases, especially tax cases."
In 2015, the IRS had an agent go to one of Morton's seminars at the New Life Expo where Morton recounted a story in which he told a court clerk the following over what appears to be a ticket he received for driving without a license:
Turns out the IRS agent recorded the seminar.
While the U.S. Attorney General's Office is recommending an 87 month prison sentence, the judge in the case has the latitude to sentence Morton to more than the recommended time. Withing the guidelines, the judge could sentence Morton to 121 months, maybe more because the guidleines are just that.
Morton is scheduled to appear for sentencing on June 19th.