Dentist Convicted for Willful Failure to File
Date:  3/1/2002

Dentist convicted for failing to file tax returns

RALEIGH - A North Raleigh dentist was sentenced to prison earlier this month after being convicted of not filing personal income tax returns.

Dr. Steven A. Roebuck, 47, of 6817 Chasewick Circle, has operated his own dental practice at 2809 Millbrook Road since 1991.

Last week, Chief U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Roebuck to two years in prison and a $20,000 fine for not filing federal taxes in 1994 and 1995. Roebuck is serving his sentence at the Franklin County Detention Center in Louisburg.

But Roebuck's wife, Donna, said her husband doesn't think he is required to file income taxes.

"He knew he was not a person who was required to fill out those forms," she said. "Paying taxes is not a willful act, and they have never proven that he willfully failed to file."

Donna Roebuck said that her husband read Lynne Meredith's book "Vultures in Eagle's Clothing," which led him to believe he was exempt from filing tax returns.

Court records show that the last time Roebuck paid and filed income taxes was in 1987. From 1988 to 1992, Roebuck filed his returns, but he didn't pay anything. The last year Roebuck filed an income tax return was 1992, according to court records.

For 1994 and 1995, anyone who made about $12,000 or more annually had to file a federal return. In 1995, Roebuck spent more than twice that amount to send his four children to private schools, court records said. By 1993, Roebuck was earning more than $150,000 per year, records said.

Roebuck was first arrested April 23, 2001. He hired two lawyers, Samuel T. Currin of North Carolina and Robert C. Aldrich of Oklahoma, to represent him at his September trial.

In his opening remarks, government prosecutor Dennis M. Duffy, an assistant U.S. attorney said: "This case is about a man who has benefited ... from much of what society has to offer its citizens. However, while benefiting on one hand, on the other hand [Roebuck] has gone to great extremes to avoid paying for those benefits."

Roebuck's attorneys initially entered a plea of not guilty. But after a short court recess, Roebuck said they talked him into changing his plea to guilty in order to save him from going to jail that day.

The judge released Roebuck on his pre-trial unsecured bond of $25,000 and told him to remain in contact with his probation officer. No sentencing date was set at that time.

Roebuck returned to his dental practice. He then decided to fire both lawyers because he said they had coerced him into changing his plea.

"Steve was hoping that he could open some eyes and make a difference," Donna Roebuck said. "But he didn't get his chance to get on the stand -- even Charles Manson got a chance."

Federal agents arrested Roebuck on Jan. 29 at his dental office. He was taken to the Wake County Jail, where he was held until his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court.

At that hearing, Roebuck represented himself. He asked the court to change his plea of guilty back to not guilty. He also told the court that it had no jurisdiction over him.

"I have forfeited, I have waived, I have rejected all benefits of the United States or any of its instrumentalities," Roebuck said.

Before this, he had sent a formal declaration of expatriation/repatriation to President George W. Bush.

Roebuck, who earned his undergraduate degree from N.C. State University and his doctorate in dentistry from UNC-Chapel Hill, said in the letter that when he was a child, his parents had been coerced by federal agents into requiring him to attend school. He also said deceptive federal agents had coerced him into obtaining a Social Security number.

Judge Boyle disagreed with Roebuck's stance on jurisdiction and taxation. He denied Roebuck's attempt to change his plea and issued the two-year sentence.

With Roebuck now serving time, Donna Roebuck said she plans to file an appeal. But she doubts it will have much success. "Because we have opposing views, people see us as anti-government."

She said she also wants to know why the government is only charging her husband with offenses from 1994 and 1995 if he is delinquent on other years too.

Government prosecutor Duffy declined to comment on any specifics from Roebuck's case, but said that federal laws allow the court to consider tax lost from uncharged years when it determines a prison sentence.

Roebuck's dental practice will remain open while he is jailed, Donna Roebuck said. "On call doctors are filling in -- they're looking after my husband's patients."

Roebuck is scheduled to be released from prison in January 2004. He'll then be required to serve a one-year probation. He also must file all delinquent tax returns with the IRS and must file personal income tax returns for all future years.

Staff writer Scott Littlejohn can be reached at 836-5710 or

Copyright Family Guardian Fellowshipo

Last revision: August 14, 2009 08:07 AM
   Home  About  Contact This private system is NOT subject to monitoring