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("Damn, We Lost Again!
And why is it
that people who sell
tax protestor materials file their tax returns anyway . . .")
IRS agents raid home
Vehicles, computers and paperwork seized from home of
man who heads Renaissance, The Tax People.
About 30 federal agents wearing holstered guns
raided the home Wednesday of Michael C. Cooper, president
of a local firm accused of mail fraud, money laundering and
running an illegal pyramid scheme.
Carrying a search warrant, agents from the Internal Revenue
Service's Criminal Investigations Division and the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service seized company vehicles, ranch equipment,
lawn equipment, computers and paperwork, said Mary Cooper,
Michael Cooper's wife. The items were loaded onto three flatbed
trucks and two moving vans, she said.
Cooper operates an office from his home, 2635 N.W. 86th
St., which also is referred to as Renaissance North. In October,
federal agents raided Cooper's business, Renaissance, The
Tax People, located inside a former mansion at S.W. 10th
Cooper and his wife were at home during Wednesday's raid,
which lasted about 4 1/2 hours.
"We chose to stay in our home while the search was
conducted," Mary Cooper said. "We were held captive
in a small room in our home. We were not allowed to go anywhere
other than the restroom."
During the raid, Cooper phoned his attorneys, but they weren't
allowed onto the property while the raid was under way, Mary
Scott French, spokesman for the IRS, confirmed that the
agency was involved in an "action" at the Coopers'
house, but he referred all other questions to the U.S. attorney's
Kena Rice, spokeswoman for U.S. attorney's office, said
that office had no comment.
Mary Cooper described the agents as "cold."
"I couldn't go in the kitchen and see what they were
taking from the kitchen. I couldn't go in my bedroom and
see what they were rifling through there," she said.
Reading a prepared statement, Mary Cooper said:
"I am outraged by the invasion of my home today. The
IRS and the Postal Service came with guns and attitude to
search and seize. Because my husband and I refused to leave
the premises while the government conducted their business,
we were held under guard in a small room in our home. Their
motto seems to be seize first, ask questions later, much
later. It has been over six months since they raided our
corporate offices and bank accounts, and we are still today
awaiting a hearing before a judge.
"This is what happens when a good company becomes successful
helping the average American citizen pay their legitimate
and fair share of income tax. You take on the IRS, they take
Among the items confiscated, she said, was the personal
computer of the couple's 11-year-old son. She said it contained
only games and music.
Attorney General Carla Stovall has filed a lawsuit alleging
Renaissance is operating an illegal pyramid scheme. A ruling
hasn't yet been issued in a hearing held in February to determine
whether to issue a temporary injunction against the company.
U.S. Attorney Jackie Williams filed a civil forfeiture complaint
in December seeking control of almost $9 million that was
seized during the October raid. That complaint alleges Renaissance
amassed about $100 million through a mail fraud and money
Following the raid last fall at the Fleming mansion, Renaissance
moved its headquarters to Forbes Field.
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