Lowell Harrison ("Larry") Becraft, Jr., is a lawyer from Alabama who frequently defends tax protesters.
Becraft does not seem to advance any particular theory himself, but once argued in court that the tax laws cannot be enforced within the states of the United States because Congress has no power outside of the District of Columbia and federal territories, for which he was fined for wasting the court's time with a frivolous argument.
Books, Web Sites, Videos, and Other Publications
Becraft has published a web page of tax protester issues that he says have been "destroyed" by poor arguments and the resulting adverse court decisions.
The only court decision affecting Becraft personally was In re Lowell H. Becraft (United States v. Nelson), 885 F.2d 547 (9th Cir. 1989), in which Becraft, attorney for Mr. Nelson, was fined $2,500 for filing a petition arguing Congress has no power outside of the District of Columbia and federal territories, which the court found to be so lacking in merit as to be “frivolous” and warranted sanctions.
Other tax protester cases in which Becraft has served as counsel and has lost (but without getting sanctioned) include United States v. Ward, 833 F.2d 1538 (11th Cir. 1987) (federal income tax is not limited to the District of Columbia and federal territories); United States v. Stahl, 792 F.2d 1438 (9th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1036 (1987); United States v. Sitka, 845 F.2d 43 (2d Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 827 (1988) (the validity of the ratification of the 16th Amendment and of the amendment itself "are no longer open questions"); United States v. Herbert Daniel Fleschner, et al., 78 AFTR2d Par. 96-5475, 96 TNT 205-77, No. 94-5929 (4th Cir. 10/11/1996) (conviction for conspiring to obstruct and defeat the functions of the Internal Revenue Service did not infringe on the 1st Amendment rights of the defendants); United States v. Larry R. Melton, et al., 77 AFTR2d Par. 96-864, 96 TNT 110-22, No. 94-5535 (4th Cir. 5/22/1996) (the duty to file returns and pay federal income tax is clear, and convictions for conspiracy to defraud the United States will not be overturned on the grounds that the law is vague or unclear); Fred W. Allnutt Sr. v. Mark J. Friedman (In re Allnutt), 75 AFTR2d Par. 95-937, 95 TNT 114-19, No. HAR 95-11 (U.S.D.C. D.Md. 4/11/1995) (collection of federal taxes by seizures did not violate automatic stay in bankruptcy proceedings); United States v. John L. Sasscer, 73 AFTR2d Par. 94-1011, 94 TNT 110-21, No. 92-5113 (4th Cir. 5/31/1994) (unpublished; convictions for failing to file tax returns upheld against challenges to evidentiary rulings and jury instructions); Burton Bliss, et ux. v. United States 92 TNT 154-20, No. CS-92-088-JLQ (U.S.D.C. E.D.Wa. 7/7/1992) (complaint to quiet title dismissed; a Form 4340 is presumptive proof that an assessment was properly made and notice and demand for payment sent in compliance with section 6303(a)); Fred W. Allnutt, Sr. v. Commissioner, 956 F.2d 1162, 72 TNT 63-7, No. 91-1073 (4th Cir. 2/26/1992) (per curiam; Tax Court decision upheld against challenges under the Paperwork Reduction Act), aff'ng T.C. Memo 1991-6; United States v. Donald L. Bowers, et ux., 90 TNT 246-10, No. 90-5640 (4th Cir. 11/29/1990) (failure of IRS to publish tax forms in Federal Register not a defense to convictions for tax evasion); First National Bank of Tulsa, et al. v. United States, et al., 865 F.2d 217, 89 TNT 11-17, No. 88-1623 (10th Cir. 1/4/1989) (grand jury subpoenas upheld against claims of infringement of 1st Amendment rights); Universal Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1988-65, No. 5759-82X ("church" found to operate for the profit of the "pastor" and not for exempt purposes); Dona H. Sly, et ux v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1988-443, Docket No. 23814-82 (deficiency upheld based on benefits received by pastor from Universal Church of Jesus Christ, Inc.).
On November 21, 2013, Carmen D'Agostino (a follower of Peter Hendrickson) was found guilty by a federal court jury of five felony counts of filing false federal income tax returns under Internal Revenue Code section 7206. Larry Becraft served as his attorney. D'Agostino was sentenced to 21 months in prison, and was released in September 2015. See also United States v. Carmen D'Agostino, case no. 5:13-cr-00138-NAM, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.