Couple charged in militia plot lose battle over federal taxes

May 25, 2011 

FAIRBANKS -- A couple from Salcha has lost a tax battle with the U.S. government.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner said Wednesday that a federal judge has ruled Lonnie and Karen Vernon owe nearly $180,000.

The Vernons are the couple whom prosecutors say were so angered by a previous judge's ruling dismissing the couple's arguments that they became involved in a murder plot against the judge and a federal tax agent.

The Vernons have fought with the Internal Revenue Service since 1999. They argued that the IRS does not have the legal authority to collect taxes.

U.S. District Court Judge Lonny R. Suko ruled Monday they must pay the tax debt.

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