North Texas man accused of IRS fraud, terror threats is no stranger to legal world

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He’s a self-described bodybuilder who sued a televangelist over a diet shake and is accused of threatening the president and calling in fake bomb threats to two airports.

She’s a former software company sales executive who got 28 votes last year in the Addison mayor’s race.

Phillip Francis Busch, 46, and Tamara Whitman, 47, are the husband-and-wife team accused by federal authorities of trying to collect more than $18 million in bogus income tax refunds.

Prosecutors say that after Busch was labeled a frivolous lawsuit filer by the courts, he and his wife duped the Internal Revenue Service into paying them nearly $190,000. They were arrested in February.

Between 2003 and 2005, Busch used a diet shake formula evangelist Pat Robertson was hawking on his TV show, The 700 Club, to drop 200 pounds and help him fulfill a dream of becoming a competitive bodybuilder.

Busch shared his story on Robertson’s show. When Busch’s attempts to get a paid endorsement deal were rebuffed, he sued.


Busch also sued Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart after footage of his 700 Club appearance was used in a skit lampooning Robertson’s diet shakes.

Both suits were dismissed. Attorneys for Robertson and Stewart told the courts that Busch’s suits were harassing and frivolous.

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This post was last updated: Aug. 2, 2010