Miccosukee Tribe of Indians is a federally recognized Indian Tribe residing in the historic Florida Everglades – an area referred to as a “River of Grass” by legendary environmental and social activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Being a sovereign citizen means that the resident does not have to follow the laws of another nation; therefore, the tribe refused to pay taxes. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently submitted a public legal notice that Miccosukee Tribe of Indians failed to file a tax report in the year 2001.
Recently, the Miccosukee Indians lost the major battle against the IRS. According to Miami Herald, the loss “will strengthen federal government efforts to collect more than $1 billion in overdue personal income taxes.”
U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga commanded a tribal member to pay more than $250,000 in back taxes after the tribe lost the tax case. During the trial, Altonaga laid the blame on Cypress, who is the leader of the Miccosukee Tribe.
Cypress has recently been hit with an IRS lawsuit of over millions of dollars in unreported income. During an internal investigation, Cypress was accused of stealing $26 million from the tribes bank accounts, which also included casino profits.
The tribe’s casino income has been estimated to be around $120,000 to $160,000 per member.