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$36 million tax-fraud suspect remains in custody after spurning bond

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Glenn R. Unger remains in federal custody after he refused to sign a $50,000 bond Wednesday afternoon in a federal tax fraud case during a hearing in Albany.

The former Potsdam orthodontist, 62, was indicted last month on allegations that he filed for more than $36 million in fraudulent income tax refunds from 2007 to 2011. While the indictment mentions only Albany and Saratoga counties as the locations where his alleged crimes took place, the Department of Justice has identified him as a resident of Ogdensburg.

Dr. Unger has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a leader in the antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement who formerly hosted an online radio broadcast under the alias Dr. Sam Kennedy and lived in Clifton Park, Saratoga County.

A Dec. 17 criminal complaint filed by federal officials does not include his address, but does include Dr. Unger’s radio alias and alleges that at least one of his fraudulent filings was made in Saratoga County.

Dr. Unger was arraigned last week before U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece, who said he would consider releasing Dr. Unger only if he signed a bond and posted real property to support it. The detention hearing was adjourned until Wednesday to give Dr. Unger an opportunity to post a bond.

Dr. Unger appeared before the judge without a lawyer on Wednesday, saying he did not wish to retain or request legal counsel, according to federal court records.

The judge told Dr. Unger that he would have to post a bond, secured by U.S. property — documented by a certified deed copy, an appraisal and a title search — as well as the pledge of a financially secure individual.

Dr. Unger told the judge that he wished to review the conditions and appearance bond and declined to sign them Wednesday, court records show. He then was remanded back into custody.

A Brooklyn native who graduated from the SUNY Buffalo School of Dentistry, Dr. Unger maintained an orthodontics practice in Potsdam from about 1980 until the early 1990s.

State Education Department records show Dr. Unger received his dental license in 1976. While his license remains valid, department officials confirmed that periodic registration is required to practice, and that Dr. Unger allowed his registration to lapse in June 2010.

A trial has been set for March 4 in Binghamton before Senior Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

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