CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — A Mount Pleasant dentist has been sentenced to prison for tax violation following an investigation by the IRS And FBI.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says 48-year-old Judy Villanyi was sentenced to Wednesday to five months in prison for "obstructing and impeding the due administration of the tax code."
Villanyi pled guilty to the crime in August of 2017.
Court records show Villanyi embraced a "misguided and temporary infatuation" with the “sovereign citizen tax protester movement."
Prosecutors say Villanyi stopped filing her personal income tax returns and began mailing the IRS "obviously frivolous sovereign citizen materials" she got off the internet, claiming she had the right not to file returns and pay taxes.
"Words are inadequate in expressing the deep sorrow I have for the actions I have done," Villanyi said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel, asking for a reduced sentence. "I have tried to evaluate why I would get involved in something so wrong. My entire definition of self has come into question. I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I will never participate in anything so absurd again."
As part of their request for a lighter sentence, Villanyi's attorney's pointed out to the judge that Villanyi from 2009-2016, when she joined the sovereign citizen movement, donated more than $630,000 to charity.
Villanyi has run Life Smiles Family Dentistry in Mount Pleasant since 2005.