Crime & Courts

Crystal Lake man sentenced to 18 months, tied to 'sovereign citizen'

A Crystal Lake man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his hand in a tax fraud scheme involving a woman said to be associated with the sovereign citizen movement.

Steven Latin, 51, received the shortest sentence of the three convicted last summer. He was convicted of filing two fraudulent income tax returns in his name to claim “a massive fraud refund that he wasn’t entitled to,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Cannon said.

Latin has been ordered to pay back more than $700,000 in restitution, Cannon said.

Latin’s case was connected with that of Sharon Anzaldi, who is associated with the sovereign citizen movement, and her son, Phillip DeSalvo. The three exchanged emails over the course of more than a year about how to skirt the system, Cannon said.

Sovereign citizens intentionally clog up court systems and other government agencies and show a disregard for the law.

Cannon said that evidence presented at trial didn’t necessarily point toward Latin’s association with the movement.

Anzaldi, 67, of Elmwood Park, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison and will have to pay about $850,000 in restitution. DeSalvo, 42, of Bartlett, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, according to a news release from the Northern District of Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Anzaldi was convicted of filing 13 false federal income tax returns for herself, friends and family that caused the IRS to pay more than $1 million in unwarranted refunds. The fraudulently claimed refunds totaled more than $8 million, according to the release.

In one instance, a couple paid Anzaldi $31,000 to file the fraudulent return, which has continued to cause problems for them even after they’ve returned the bulk of the fraudulent refund, the release said. Penalties and interest on the amount they spent before returning the money continues to accrue, the release said.

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