Mercer County Man, Jeffrey Reed Sentenced for Retaliating Against Federal Officer
Nearly $5 million fraudulent lien was filed in retaliation for single wage garnishment
BLUEFIELD, W.V (STL.News) A Mercer County man was sentenced to five years in federal prison today for retaliating against a federal law enforcement officer by filing a fraudulent lien and attempting to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws.
Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber sentenced Jeffrey Reed, 62, of Flat Top to five years for the retaliation offense and to a concurrent three years for the attempted interference offense. The sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
A federal jury previously convicted Reed of both offenses following a two-day trial in August 2021. According to court records and evidence at trial, Mr. Reed owed a significant tax debt to the Department of Treasury and was employed by a hotel in the Oak Hill area. In 2015, after letters sent to Reed from the IRS were either sent back or ignored, an IRS revenue officer took steps to garnish a portion of Reed’s wages. When Reed learned of these efforts, he met with managers of the hotel and requested that they not comply with the IRS’ attempts to garnish his wages.
In retaliation for a single wage garnishment of $598, Reed filed a $4.95 million lien with the Mercer County Clerk directed against the revenue officer and the owner of the hotel. Reed’s lien claimed 165 constitutional violations, including illegal search and seizure, war, treason and slavery. Reed also sought to attach any real and personal property owned by the revenue officer and the owner of the hotel.
Reed further claimed that the revenue officer owed him an additional $9 million because his name had been copyrighted.
Department of Treasury Special Agents testified at trial that they spoke to Reed in February 2020 at which time Reed admitted to filing the lien against the revenue officer. Reed further indicated that he filed the lien to obstruct the collection of his wages.
The court called Reed a “paper terrorist,” concluding his misconduct was “despicable” and “inexcusable” while citing deterrence as a factor in his sentencing
United States Attorney William Thompson commended the excellent work of the revenue officer and the Department of Treasury agents that worked on the case. The United States Department of Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrations (TIGTA) Office of Investigations conducted the investigation with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The prosecution was specifically authorized by the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Erik S. Goes and Ryan Blackwell prosecuted the case.
“The defendant tried to illegally and illogically manipulate the legal process for his own personal gain, which will not be tolerated by this office,” Thompson said. “Criminals cannot be allowed to target others, in this case a federal employee and a business owner, for following the law.”