Newly discovered documents are shedding light on the anti-government views of Lori Vallow Daybell's father, who penned a book on how not to pay taxes that refers to an "IRS cabal" and accuses it of imposing "an evil regime" on Americans.
Barry Cox and his wife, Janis, have spent decades fighting with the Internal Revenue Service, racking up more than $300,000 in back taxes because of Barry's belief that "federal income tax is unlawful" and "the IRS is a rogue agency," court documents show. Barry was also reprimanded by an Arizona judge for "engaging in the unauthorized practice of law" in 2018, according to Arizona State Bar records.
Barry's anti-federal government stance sheds potential light on the woman who refused to tell authorities where her two missing children were for months before their bodies were found on her new husband's land. Joshua "JJ" Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 16, were last seen in September and authorities now believe they were killed shortly after and buried in the backyard of Lori's fifth husband, Chad Daybell.
Throughout the search for the children, investigators accused Lori of refusing to help them find JJ and Tylee, and Janis and Lori's sister, Summer Shiflet, told CBS News Lori "can't tell us" where the children were because her phone calls were being recorded in jail. Supporters of Lori and Chad also took to social media to say it was none of the government's business where JJ and Tylee were.
Chad was also an active member of LDS AVOW, an end-times preparedness forum that appears in the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2019 report on anti-government extremism.
The group counted LDS AVOW among 576 groups that generally "define themselves as opposed to the 'New World Order,' engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme anti-government doctrines."
Barry's book and his decades-long battle with the IRS appear to show that Lori's family held their own anti-government views. Records show Barry's battle with the IRS began in the late 1980s, and in 1998, he "admitted to using false statements to avoid paying federal income tax for the years 1988, 1989, and 1990" and entered into a plea agreement with the government, according to court records.
In 2004, the U.S. government sued Barry and Janis, claiming they owed more than $300,000 in back taxes. A court ruled in the government's favor in 2008, but the following year, Barry filed an administrative claim refusing to pay.
Barry's claim named the United States, the IRS, the Department of the Treasury and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner among the defendants, and his arguments centered on his assertion that collecting income tax is an "unauthorized exercise of federal power" and that "the IRS is a rogue agency without legal authority," according to a motion to dismiss filed by the government in 2010. An Arizona judge ruled in favor of the government in the case and dismissed Barry's complaint.
Barry was also reprimanded for representing himself as a lawyer and advertising his services as a "legal document writer" in November of 2018, according to the State Bar of Arizona, leading a superior court judge in Pinal County to issue a cease and desist order against him for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
Then, in November 2019, weeks after his grandchildren went missing, Barry published a book entitled How the American Public Can Dismantle the IRS, arguing in its prologue that Americans have been "illegally and deceptively held captive and in bondage by a gang of self-policing liars who have arrogantly and without conscience imposed an evil regime to do whatever they want, whenever they want and to whomever they want to the American public with impunity."
In the book, Cox also repeats prominent right-wing conspiracy theories that accuse former President Barack Obama of being "anti-Christian" with a "Muslim education" and a "background with the LGBRQ [sic] society."
Following the discovery of the children's remains in June, the Cox family's attorneys, Robert Jarvis and Garrett Smith, issued a statement saying Janis, Barry and Summer were "deeply saddened by the recent findings in the investigation into the whereabouts of J.J. and Tylee. Their love for them knows no bounds.
"The family has maintained a strong hope and belief that they were alive and well. With that hope and belief apparently shattered, they struggle to find comfort and hope in this potential new reality. They miss J.J. and Tylee very much," the statement read in part. "The family is very grateful to those who have expended so much time and effort in trying to locate them."
Smith, one of the Cox family's attorneys, did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment for this story.
Lori is set to be arraigned on felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in Fremont County, Idaho on Thursday. She has previously pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
In addition to the two felony charges in Fremont County, Lori also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in nearby Madison County. A trial has been set on those charges for Jan. 25 to Jan. 29, 2021 before Judge Michelle Radford Mallard, according to court documents. Lori has previously pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Chad is set to go on trial in Fremont County, Idaho in January after pleading not guilty to felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence and conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence of JJ and Tylee's remains. He has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.