Oscar Stilley is a disbarred Arkansas lawyer who is suing Dr. Alan Braid after the Texas doctor admitted to violating the state’s abortion ban. Stilley is a federal “tax protester” who was convicted of tax fraud and is currently serving the remainder of his 15-year prison sentence on home confinement. Stilley announced his lawsuit on his website, Busting the Feds, on Monday, September 20, 2021.
Stilley, wrote on his site, “I have filed a civil complaint against Dr. Alan Braid, MD, the doctor who violated the Texas Heartbeat Act, this September 20, 2021. Dr. Braid wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post, explaining his reasoning. If he was trying to get sued, he succeeded. I furthermore intend to use this blog to provide periodic updates of developments in this litigation. Let the litigation begin, and may the best argument win.” Stilley, filed the civil complaint pro see, told CNN, “I am a supporter of the Constitution, and I am opposed to the law,” adding that he wants to “clear the way for a judge to rule on its constitutionality.”
Stilley, of Fort Smith, was described by the Arkansas Times as a “gadfly, political candidate, alleged lawyer,” in an article about his 15-year tax fraud sentence. Stilley was found guilty in 2010 of conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to the Tulsa World.
A judge found Stilley and his co-defendant in the tax avoidance scheme responsible for more than $1 million each in federal tax losses and ordered him to pay $700,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The Arkansas Times called him an “anti-tax crusader.”
Stilley’s lawsuit is the first legal test of Texas abortion ban, which is the most restrictive in the U.S. Braid, a physician in San Antonio, revealed he had performed an abortion to a woman who was in the early stages of pregnancy but beyond the six-week limit for abortion in Texas, saying she “has fundamental right to receive this care.” Braid wrote in The Washington Post, “I fully understood that there could be legal consequences — but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”
The Washington Post wrote that Stilley, who filed the lawsuit in Bexar County, Texas, “said he is not personally opposed to abortion, but believes that the measure should be subject to judicial review.” Stilley told The Post, “If the law is no good, why should we have to go through a long, drawn-out process to find out if it’s garbage?”
Here’s what you need to know about Oscar Stilley:
1. Oscar Stiley Told The Post ‘If the State of Texas Decided It’s Going to Give a $10,000 Bounty, Why Shouldn’t I Get That $10,000 Bounty?’
Stilley told The Washington Post, “If the state of Texas decided it’s going to give a $10,000 bounty, why shouldn’t I get that 10,000 bounty?” The Texas law, which took effect on September 1, 2021, could result in an award of at least $10,000 to plaintiffs.
Braid has not commented about the lawsuit. He is being represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights. The legal organization’s senior counsel, Marc Hearron, said in a statement to The Post, “S.B. 8 says that ‘any person’ can sue over a violation, and we are starting to see that happen, including by out-of-state claimants.”
Stilley’s full civil complaint can be read here.
In the complaint, Stilley, who called himself a “disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer,” wrote, “Plaintiff despite all his legal troubles is NOT an officer or employee of any state or local governmental entity of the great State of Texas. … Senate Bill 8 confers a private right of action upon ‘any person’ without limitation as to residency or citizenship in the State of Texas, status as a felon, condition of ‘official detention,’ disbarment from the practice of law, public disgrace, difficulties getting due process, etc. Senate Bill 8 imposes no requirement of injury in fact. Plaintiff is therefore a qualified and suitable plaintiff, within the meaning of applicable law.”
Stilley added, “On information and belief, Defendant has allowed his own personal ideology to cause him to violate the express provisions of Senate Bill 8, despite the potential consequences. Therefore, Defendant has extended to Plaintiff (and logical extension all other ‘persons’) a complete and present cause of action for money damages and injunctive relief.”
He wrote, “Plaintiff on the morning of September 20, 2021 placed a call to the office of Defendant, to inquire whether or not Defendant might repent of his ideology as well as his deeds, and agree never to perform another abortion contrary to the enactments of the Texas legislature in general, and the requirements of Senate Bill 8 in particular. Plaintiff wasn’t able to secure any such agreement despite respectful efforts.”
Stilley concluded:Plaintiff therefore brings this cause of action, for money damages and injunctive relief. WHEREFORE, premises considered, Plaintiff requests that this Court order Defendant to pay to Plaintiff the sum of $100,000, but in no case less than the statutory minimum of $10,000; for an injunction prohibiting Defendant from performing any more abortions contrary to the terms of Senate Bill 8; should Plaintiff retain a licensed attorney to prosecute this action, for reasonable attorneys fees actually expended; for all costs and expenses reasonably laid out, in the prosecution of this action; and for such other and further relief as may be appropriate, whether or not specifically requested.”
2. A Judge Called Stilley an ‘Unrepentant Tax Cheat’ & ‘Thief’ Who Used His Law License as an ‘Instrument of Fraud & a License to Steal’
According to a 2010 press release from the U.S. Department Department of Justice, Stilley and his co-defendant, Lindsey Kent Springer, an Oklahoma businessman, were involved in Bondage Breakers Ministry with a mission to “get rid of the Internal Revenue Service.” Neither Stilley nor Springer had filed a federal income tax return with the IRS since the late 1980s, prosecutors said.
Stilley and Springer were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion at a jury trial in 2010 following their 2009 indictment. According to the press release:
Stilley maintained an interest-bearing account, called an Arkansas IOLTA Foundation Trust account, which lawyers use to deposit and hold client funds. The pair used the IOLTA account and various other devices such as cashier’s checks, check cashing services, money orders, cash and other means to conceal Springer’s actual income and avoid creating the usual records of financial institutions. Springer told IRS employees that all funds he receives are gifts and donations to his ministry, and that he does not have any income. He also stated he does not provide any services for payment. There were numerous transactions involving hundreds of thousands of dollars between Springer and Stilley that flowed through the IOLTA account, such as $166,000 paid out in August 2005 to purchase a motor home titled in the name of Springer and his wife, and a September 2005 payment of $25,813 to purchase a Lexus automobile titled in Springer’s name
Then-Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division John DiCicco said in a statement after Stilley and Springer were sentenced, “This conviction serves as yet another reminder that individuals who break our nation’s tax laws face serious consequences. Citizens who comply with our tax laws can be assured that the United States vigorously prosecutes those who choose to violate them.”
Then-IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge of the Dallas Field Office Andrea Whalen added in a statement, “The harsh sentences these individuals received should serve as a stern warning to others, who are on a similar path of criminal non-compliance with the tax laws.”
At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot called Stilley an “unrepentant tax cheat,” a “thief” and said he used his law license as an “instrument of fraud and a license to steal,” according to the Tulsa World. The newspaper reported that during his closing arguments, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles O’Reilly called Springer and Stilley’s defense “tax protester rhetoric and legalistic gibberish.”
Stilley has been attempting to appeal his conviction and get his sentence overturned or reduced in the years since he was sentenced, according to federal court filings.
3. Stilley, an Anti-IRS Attorney, Lost His Law License in 2010
Stilley was disbarred in 2010 amid his federal legal troubles. According to Arkansas Online, Stilley lost his law license in the state in November 2010. He had been facing disbarment proceedings for several years.
According to a 2008 article in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Stilley’s law license was suspended twice between 2001 and 2008, when he tried to convince a Tennessee federal judge to allow him to defend a couple accused of tax evasion. He also faced financial sanctions and was jailed for criminal contempt, according to the newspaper.
In the disbarment ruling, Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Ronald Sheffield wrote, “Given the number of violations, the length of time over which Stilley has incurred such violations and Stilley’s repeated unwillingness to accept the finality of court decisions, we agree that his actions constitute serious misconduct and that disbarment is the appropriate sanction.”
Stilley was sued by an Oklahoma couple in 2008 who said they served time in prison because he and Springer told them they could “un-volunteer” from paying taxes and promised they would never be convicted or go to prison if they did so, according to Courthouse News.
4. Stilley Has Run for Political Office Multiple Times in Arkansas
Stilley ran for local and statewide office in Arkansas several times before his tax fraud conviction, according to the Arkansas Times.
Arkansas Times Senior Editor Max Brantley wrote, “He was an anti-tax crusader and came close in 1998 to getting an amendment on the ballot to abolish the property tax. He lost races for state Senate and governor (when he got 35 votes as a Libertarian candidate in 1998.)”
According to his blog, Stilley is divorced and has four children. Two of his children were adopted from Russia and two are his biological children, according to the blog.
Stilley wrote, “Dropped out of school in 1976, at the age of 13. GED at 17, learned to weld soon thereafter at Gary Job Corp in San Marcos, Texas. Fall of 1985 enrolled at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. BSBA Administrative Management 1988. Promptly thereafter enrolled in the UA Fayetteville law school, graduated in 1990. Practiced law from 1991 through October 2009.
He said, “Practice heavily weighted toward representing taxpayers against state or federal taxing agencies, federal criminal defense, initiative and referendum work, and representation of teens in abusive boarding schools. … Has planted about 1.4 million trees, mostly for timber companies and private landowners engaged in timber production. Still loves to plant, tend, research, talk, and write about trees.”
In 1998, The Washington Post wrote about Stilley’s efforts with the Arkansas Taxpayers Rights Association to end the state’s property tax. The Post wrote:
It wasn’t long ago that they dismissed Stilley as little more than a litigious pest – a populist gadfly with a law license and an almost religious determination to curb Arkansas’ taxing and spending authority. ‘Oscar Silly,’ they sometimes called him, and still do.
Except these days their voices are tinged with anxiety. In an otherwise dull election season here, Stilley and the grass-roots organization he represents have managed to get a radical initiative on next month’s ballot, one that would make Arkansas the first state to abolish property taxes and replace them with added sales taxes. The proposed constitutional amendment would severely limit state and local officials’ powers to raise other revenue or impose commercial fees or regulations.
Stilley’s failed campaign drew criticism from then-Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee, according to The Post. Stilley told The Post, “I have been trying to get remedies for the wrongs against taxpayers in this state for years, and I have met with almost uniform failure in that regard. My files are full of cases I’ve filed against the bureaucrats for stealing taxpayers’ money, for misappropriating it, and I get beaten time and time and time again. But I’m just too stubborn to give up.”
5. Stilley, Who Went on a Hunger Strike While in Prison in 2017, Was Released From Custody on Home Confinement Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Stilley was released from federal prison on home confinement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He could not immediately be reached for comment by Heavy. It was not immediately clear if Stilley would be among the thousands of federal inmates who will be required to return to prison when the pandemic state of emergency ends.
In 2017, Stilley went on a hunger strike, according to his Facebook page, which was maintained by his supporters while he was behind bars. The page stated he went on a hunger strike of more than 50 days because he was put in isolation in the segregated housing unit (SHU), known as solitary confinement, after he said he was being disciplined for helping other inmates file legal briefs.
Stilley wrote in his lawsuit against Braid:
Plaintiff is currently on home confinement, in the custody of the United States Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Prisons, (DOJ-FBOP) serving the 12 year of a 15 year federal sentence on utterly fraudulent federal charges of “tax evasion” and “conspiracy,” all of which repeatedly changed and morphed away from the purported grand jury indictment, to whatever new theory the government chose to espouse at a given time. Even so, the final judgment and commitment order was based upon false testimony, claimed evidence which was clearly contradicted by the record, etc., all of which the government steadfastly refuses to acknowledge and correct despite ethical obligations promptly so to do.
Plaintiff has consistently demanded due process, and continues his attack on the baseless felony conviction and sentence that has placed him in various federal prisons, and now on home confinement. … Plaintiff currently carries the appellation “federal felon,” but remains confident that he will eventually receive total exoneration of all counts of conviction.
In a June Facebook post, Stilley shared a link to his blog and wrote, “If you comment please remember that I (born male & still that way last I checked) have a massive ego and it is kind of tender right now. Please don’t hurt me – I can’t stand pain. However, I’ll man up and take it better if you tell your friends about this post. HIT IT QUICK!!! Remember Donald Trump??? I could be de-platformed or even disappeared for failure to accept responsibility, lack of contrition, arrogance, obstinacy, obduracy, the lust of concupiscence, and other offenses that sadly escape me at this ‘Biden moment.'”
Stilley’s Facebook page includes posts supporting Trump, including an anti-immigrant “Build the Wall” meme, several posts from Charlie Kirk and the right-wing Turning Point USA website and anti-Obama conspiracy theories, including one falsely claiming the former president secretly imported Muslims into the U.S. The page also shared stories from Alex Jones’ InfoWars conspiracy theory site.