As far as Glen Stoll is concerned, he was just doing God's business. Stoll wasn't in Seattle yesterday when the Justice Department announced...

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As far as Glen Stoll is concerned, he was just doing God’s business.

Stoll wasn’t in Seattle yesterday when the Justice Department announced a federal court had permanently barred him from involvement with a widespread tax-fraud scheme that helped others avoid paying federal taxes.

The Edmonds resident was in Florida, teaching ministry classes and maintaining his innocence.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez found that Stoll operated his businesses, Nonprofit Commercial Enterprises and Remedies at Law, as a “corporation sole,” where customers “donate” assets and income to the corporation, then fraudulently claim charitable donations or exemptions.

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Stoll falsely told his customers that because it was a religious organization, it received a “mandatory exemption” to what should have been applicable tax laws, according to court documents.

The court also found Stoll falsely claimed to be a lawyer.

Stoll admitted he did not have any formal law education, nor was he a member of the bar.

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Call for help? Taxpayers with questions about tax schemes or wish to report a possible scheme can call 866-775-7474 or send an e-mail to irs.tax.shelter.hotline@irs.gov

“What is a lawyer? A lawyer is one who practices law,” he said. “It is not wrong or dishonest to call myself what I am.”

Corporation soles have been an increasingly popular outlet for tax evaders in Washington during the past five years, according to the Secretary of the State’s Office.

The office reported that many are requests submitted by the same small group of people and filed over and over.

In 1994, there were about 124 corporation soles on file in Washington. Last year, there were 3,084.

The IRS issued an alert advising taxpayers to be wary of promoters offering a tax-evasion scheme that misuses the corporation sole law. Stoll was connected to 89 corporation soles, according to court documents. Stoll denies the court’s findings.

Corporation soles were created in 1915 for organized churches like the Roman Catholic Church, with a single designated head, giving that leader control of a church’s assets and activities.

Sixteen states permit corporation soles. In Washington, the process for attaining the status through the Secretary of State’s Office is an honor system. Stoll maintains he’s on a mission from the church and that churches shouldn’t be licensed by the secular government.

“They can crack down on their people all they want. But they better not crack down on the church, or they’ll have God to answer to,” Stoll said.

Christina Siderius: 206-515-5066 or csiderius@seattletimes.com