PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Oregon’s teacher unions say anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore ducked a $3.4 million racketeering judgment by funneling $1.2 million through his new organization, the American Tax Research Foundation. Two unions say Sizemore moved the money to duck a 2003 judgment against his defunct organization, the Oregon Taxpayers United – Education Foundation.
The Oregon Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers – Oregon sued Sizemore in Multnomah County Court.
They say the 2003 judgment forbade Sizemore from transferring any assets from Oregon Taxpayers until the judgment was paid. The court also enjoined Sizemore from starting a nonprofit political action committee in Oregon for 5 years, finding that he had run a sham charity to finance his political activities, according to the complaint. Last year, the court extended the order until 2013.
Sizemore appealed, but in 2008 the Oregon Supreme Court confirmed the award to the unions on their racketeering claims against Sizemore and his organizations.
Instead of complying with the injunction, the unions say, Sizemore set up another sham charity in Nevada, the American Tax Research Foundation, which operated only in Oregon.
The unions say Sizemore hasn’t paid a penny toward the judgment.
He was briefly jailed on Dec. 1 after Multnomah County Judge Janice Wilson found him in contempt of the injunction, the Oregonian newspaper reported.
The unions say Sizemore set up American Tax but hid his involvement in order to continue the political business of Oregon Taxpayers and avoid paying the judgment. The unions want the court to transfer liability for the $3.4 million judgment to Sizemore’s new organization.
The unions are represented by Gregory Hartman.
Sizemore and his wife, Cindy Sizemore, are also fighting an indictment filed by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger accusing them of failing to file state income taxes for three years.
The Republican candidate for governor requested a speedy trial, saying he needs time to prepare for the primary election in May.