Kodiak man convicted of fraud

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002

ANCHORAGE - A federal jury Thursday convicted Richard R. Blankenship of Kodiak of tax fraud.

The jury found him guilty on six counts of failing to file a tax return, four counts of mailing threatening letters to several people including state judges, and attempting to cash a phony draft.

Blankenship, 50, made enough money to pay taxes, but he hadn't filed tax returns since 1994, according to the indictment. He also sued state judges after he was arrested for drunken driving and driving with a suspended license, claiming the judges owed him $20.8 million.

During the trial, Blankenship tested the patience of U.S. District Judge John Sedwick by trying to bring witnesses to testify on how the English language is "fictitious."

Blankenship's sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 21. He faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for each count of failing to file taxes, two years in prison and a $250,000 fine for mailing threatening communications, and a maximum sentence of 25 years and a $250,000 fine for trying to cash a false draft.

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