I got a big kick out of this, from page 53, commenting on what the attorneys wrote were Morton's "self-aggrandizing proclamations":
"On multiple occasions during his closing argument, defendant claimed that he was being persecuted based on his efforts to bring hidden truths to an uninformed populace suffering under the heel of government oppression and a corrupt financial system. Viewed as a whole, the totality of the evidence introduced at trial reveals a much more mundane justification: defendant was selected for prosecution based on his continued pattern of fraudulent behavior in the face of repeated government warnings."Can't you just imagine Morton swaggering around the courtroom yelling that he was being unfairly persecuted, utterly disregarding the clearly-stated charges against him?
"The tax returns were all completely false"
Speaking of which, this brief laid out a clearer version of Sean and Melissa's flagrant cheating than I think we have seen previously:
"Between March and April 2009, defendant and MM submitted a series of federal income tax returns ... claiming false federal tax refunds based on nonexistent income tax withholdings. The returns all followed the same pattern: On each return, the listed defendant would claim that he or she had received interest income from various financial institutions, and that substantially all of this income had been withheld and paid over to the IRS on their behalf. While the income reported by defendants resulted in applicable income taxes, these taxes were dwarfed by the withholdings alleged to have been made by the listed financial institutions. On their returns, defendants requested that the IRS refund the balance of the reported withholdings, net of the reported tax liability. As substantiation for their claimed income and withholdings, defendants included IRS Forms 1099 purportedly issued by the financial institutions listed on defendants’ tax returns. In total, defendant submitted returns for the years 2005 through 2008 claiming refunds of $3,930,811 (2005 - $136,077; 2006 - $1,560,634; 2007 - $1,754,594; 2008 - $479,506). The tax returns were all completely false. ... [N]o withholding payments were ever made to the IRS on their behalf. The Forms 1099-OID submitted by defendants were also utter fabrications, and had never been issued to defendants by the listed financial institutions.Prior to his conviction, at a time when he was claiming "all this will go away soon," Morton several times stated "It was the IRS's error, not ours." That statement must rate as world-class in the category of disingenuousness.
Of the five false tax returns submitted by defendants in March/April of 2009, four were caught by the IRS and identified as frivolous, thus resulting in the denial of defendants’ claimed refunds. However, defendant’s 2008 income tax return slipped through the IRS review process and resulted in a refund. On April 17, 2009, the IRS direct deposited $480,322.55 into a joint bank account held by defendants with Bank of America."
The brief did not specifically address Morton's claim of judicial estoppel,note 1 other than to remark that Morton had never been portrayed by them as a victim of crimes committed by Brandon Adams and Gordon Hall (Adams and Hall are the villains who originally came up with this scheme to defraud the IRS—they were separately prosecuted in Arizona).note 2
They were, however, at pains to rebut Morton's claim at appeal that he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to be represented by counsel. That wasn't, in fact, very hard—they merely had to cite from the trial transcript (4th April 2017):
DEFENDANT: I knowing and unequivocally wish to represent myself.It was more than five months later, at the end of the sentencing hearing (18th September 2017), that SDM suddenly realized what a bloody fool he had been.
THE COURT: I'm sure Ms. Cader has described to you the pitfalls of doing that, haven't you, Ms. Cader?
MS. CADER: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: The case has more than the ordinary complexity for a criminal case. If you're not trained in the law, you'll be up against a prosecutor who is. There are Rules of Evidence that have to be observed, and you may find yourself unable to present your defense effectively because of your lack of knowledge and experience in laying a foundation and presenting evidence. Likewise, you may be at a lost [sic] to prevent evidence that shouldn't be admitted by the government. The trial is an exercise that requires experience and skill, and I can't tell you -- at least in my view -- how foolish your decision is. On the other hand, I can't prevent you from even making a foolish decision.
DEFENDANT: I understand all that, sir.
THE COURT: That is still your wish?
DEFENDANT: Yes, it is.
DEFENDANT: [R]eally at this point, Your Honor, I'm completely loss here, and I'm beginning to realize that in this proceeding, ... I'm not capable of representing myself, and I request either a federal defender – have appointed to review so that I can respond to this, because you've completely lost me. ... So at that this point, I have to represent -- I have to request counsel because I have no idea what you guys are talking about, 91s and 109snote 3 and how this comes to that and the other thing, and I think I have a right to presentation. ...The Ninth Circuit will, in its plodding way, eventually rule on the appeal. If they find for Morton, I'll eat my hat.
THE COURT: Okay. I'm now going to proceed to sentencing.
DEFENDANT: Even though I've requested counsel, sir?
THE COURT: Too late, Mr. Morton.
DEFENDANT: Too late?
THE COURT: I told you at the outset that you were making among the most foolish decisions you could possibly make by not having a lawyer.
Thanks to AE once again for monitoring
 See "Sean David Morton takes his best shot" 29th November 2018
 Morton testified that he paid Adams and Hall $6,000 to concoct the scheme
 The judge and the prosecutors had been discussing the admittedly arcane question of sentencing guidelines.