Monday, July 7, 2008 | 3:52 p.m.
CARSON CITY – Albert R. Salman made the mistake of trying to fool the Internal Revenue Service in paying his taxes.
Salman, a small businessman in Reno, ended up serving a 12-month prison sentence.
Salman sent a payment of $750,000 to the IRS for his estimated taxes in 1998. The payment was on a document called a “sight draft” and it had the notation “non-negotiable.”
He also made another payment of $250,000 in the same year using the same “sight draft” document. These drafts were similar in some ways to checks.
The U.S. Treasury says there is no such financial instrument as a “sight draft” and a federal court jury in 2004 agreed, convicting Salman of two counts of passing a fictitious instrument and two counts of attempting to interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws.
Salman represented himself at the trial.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday rejected the appeal of Salman saying that even if there were notations of “non-negotiable”, they were still “unlawful fictitious instruments because they appear to be financial obligations.”
The court said these “sight drafts” were illegal “because these phony sight drafts on their face pose a capacity to deceive…”