A Marion man, who allegedly claims to be a citizen of heaven rather than a U.S. Citizen, has been charged in federal court in Cedar Rapids with making a false claim on his taxes.
Richard Lee Mellor, 53, has been indicted on a charge alleging that he sent a tax return to the Internal Revenue Service claiming a refund of about $240,000.
A press release from the U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids says that according to information disclosed in court, the amount claimed represented the taxes that Mellor paid in previous years. Mellor allegedly claimed the taxes were paid in error, in part, because the United States is a fictional entity and he is not subject to the jurisdiction of the IRS.
"Mellor also allegedly disclaimed his U.S. citizenship and claimed, rather, to be a citizen of heaven," the press statement said.
Mellor appeared in court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday and was released on bond. He faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
The trial is set for Nov. 3.