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Former Potsdam dentist remains in custody

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POTSDAM - The U.S. attorney’s office has unsuccessfully contested release terms proposed by an Albany judge for $36 million tax-fraud suspect Glenn Richard Unger, a former Potsdam orthodontist with ties to Ogdensburg.

In denying the government’s motion, a senior U.S. district judge this week pointed out that Dr. Unger has yet to meet even the conditions for a potential pretrial release, rendering the matter premature.

Dr. Unger, 62, was indicted last month on allegations that he filed for numerous fraudulent income tax refunds between 2007 and 2011. The Department of Justice has identified him as a resident of Ogdensburg, though the filings took place in Albany and Saratoga counties.

Dr. Unger has been identified both by federal officials and 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.

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

During a Jan. 9 detention hearing in Albany, U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece told Dr. Unger that he would consider granting release only if Dr. Unger signed a $50,000 bond,to be secured by real property and a financially secure individual.

Court documents show Dr. Unger suggested posting his sister’s condominium in Boca Raton, Fla., to secure the bond, to which the judge said a certified copy of the deed would be required first, as well as an appraisal and title search.

Dr. Unger declined to sign the conditions of release, and was returned to jail while reviewing the judge’s conditions.

On Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ransom P. Reynolds filed for an order to show cause, asking Judge McAvoy to review Judge Treece’s release order.

Judge McAvoy responded Tuesday that “the government’s application is premature” because Dr. Unger has not signed the release conditions yet, and because Judge Treece “has not yet determined whether the real property is adequate security.”

“If these conditions come to fruition and it appears that defendant’s release is imminent, the government may again move for review of Judge Treece’s order and for remand,” Judge McAvoy concluded.

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.

Dr. Unger initially spurned counsel and represented himself in federal court proceedings earlier this month. According to court documents filed Tuesday, he has since invoked his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to silence and representation by counsel, and will be represented by George E. Baird Jr., a federal public defender.

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