Leaders of the so-called Republic of Texas, an antigovernment separatist group whose leader has been sentenced to serve 111 years in prison, tried to purchase a four-story building and compound to serve as the group's "capital," officials say.
An IRS spokesman says Jacques Jaikaran, who faces up to three years in prison and $75,000 in fines on a tax evasion conviction, tried to arrange the purchase of a building near Houston that features machine-gun turrets, a bomb shelter and an operating room.
The official says that Jaikaran served as the Republic's financial adviser, although the Kingwood, Texas, plastic surgeon denies membership. Instead, Jaikaran claims he is affiliated with a group called Constitution Coalition of Texas.
Republic of Texas adherents believe that Texas was illegally annexed by the United States in 1845.