I have to wonder how happy the #FreeKentHovind crowd is with today’s noise and light article. It’s the usual stuff, nothing new, a reprint of a whine about how Kent’s in prison but Al Sharpton roams free by Chuck Baldwin from a couple of days ago. (Eventually I’ll deconstruct the thing but not right now.)
But wait, the vdare dot com site is different. The article has a picture of Kent, and the description:
Jaworski bought the property in 2011. Things did not go swimmingly with his new neighbors, to the point that he filed suit against the U.S. Treasury asking for $107,000 in 2013. (See link.) I (Dee Holmes) believe Jaworski’s three page complaint is important, so I have typed it out here. If these statements are true (and this is just a complaint and not a sworn statement), they say a lot about some members of the Hovind family.
I’d also direct your attention to the simulated legal documents sent to Jaworski by Paul John Hansen (Kent’s codefendant) on pages 5-8 of this file. It should be noted that by 2011, Hansen was not the trustee of the property in question as the title was held by the U.S. government, but that didn’t stop him from sending these documents.
The primary cause of action in this case is Title 18 241. I am asking the court to order the United States Treasury to return to me 101 thousand dollars that I paid for this property at 5720 N. Palafox St., Pensacola, Florida. I ask for another 6 thousand dollars to cover repairs, expenses, threats, abuse, mail harassment and terror. The total asked for is 107 thousand dollars.
I purchased 5720 N. Palafox from the URS Company out of Manassas, Virginia. This property was seized by IRS from Jo and Ken [sic] Hoven[sic]. This property is about 5 acres with about 20 buildings on it. A large fence encloses the property. Kent Hoven [sic] is still in prison in Colorado. Jo Hoven [sic] is out of confinement and living on the property. (a former dinosaur park)
While traveling to here from Maryland, persons unknown to me had plans to violate my civil and privacy rights. Rhoda Harding, owner of Adams Pawn, was harassed and badgered to keep an eye out for my arrival. Adams Pawn is across the street from this property. On my arrival to this property, Rhoda was to call a phone number and report this fact. The Federal Courts have ruled it is unlawful to spy on a person with a device or drone if they have a security fence. On arrival here I meet Eric Hoven [sic] who asks me what’s my name? I tell him my name is Bob or Billy Bob. Eric Hoven [sic] tells me that the name I gave to him is not my name. I respond that I just ran for the United States Senate with the name Billy Bob. Soon after this encounter with Eric, a letter arrives addressed to “Bob” or “Occupant”. This letter was a fake legal document telling me that neither I nor the Federal Government owns the property I just bought. The letter tells me I am trespassing on church property. Eric Hoven [sic] is the only soul in Florida (at this time) to hear the name “Bob” or “Billy” in reference to myself. Another certified letter arrives at 4108 Denfeld Avenue, Kensington, Maryland, telling me I am trespassing and to get off church property. I sent the letter to the URS Company who referred the letter to the United States Attorney. The United States Attorney should be in possession of the two fake legal letters. Only the first letter is addressed to a “Bob” or “Occupant” and all the other letters are addressed to my proper first and last name.
A person named Jared Hester approached me to buy this property. He told me he rents from Jo Hoven [sic] and does repair work for the Hoven’s [sic]. Jared Hester, a Hoven [sic] employee, told me that after the Federal Agents raided the property, and prior to the courts giving the IRS the property, he was offered the two small storage units on the property by Jo Hoven [sic]. All that would be needed was for him to hook up a chain to the units and haul them away. This shows a long term relationship between Hoven’s [sic] and Jared Hester. Jared Hester is kin by familial association or consanguinity. Jared Hester wanted to rent a mobile home on this property for a short term until the bank gave us the purchase money. He paid for the first and last week’s rent with a bad check. He avoids a state felony by various tricks. He causes thousands of dollars of damage to this property. The State’s Attorney is dealing with the bad check and other issues. Jared Hester gave me a starter check and I did not know his correct address or name. I ask Paul Hoven [sic] [Paul Dublin?] how do you spell Jared’s name and he tells me it is j-e-r-r-e-d. Paul Hoven [sic] is educated, and is an employer and landlord to Jared Hester. The bank has not contacted me in regards to the sale of this home. Paul Hoven [sic] asks me, since I have been terrorized and this property is damaged, do I want to sell my property? Restated in my own words it would sound like the following. Your property is damaged and you were put through terror-do you want to take a low price for your property? Jared Hester and Paul Hoven [sic] might be kin to each other.
Letters of harassment, spying, plans to destroy this property, and then buying the property at a bargain basement price are some of the facts in this case. One dark night, Jared Hester arrived on this property to tell me I did something to his wife. I ask what did I do to your wife? He answers my knocking on his door made his wife scared. I tell Jared Hester off and turn away, and turn back again and I now see Jared Hester resting his hand on his knife. A lifelong friend told me that the Hoven’s [sic] are bitter and angry at what the government did to them.
There are many other issues concerning this property. A large structure exists on two property lines. Another issue deals with water. I use 30 gallons of water and I am billed for 500 gallons. Maybe there is a leak or a line runs to another property. The water well feeds to the government parking lot. The flaws are minor but many.
In some states there is a law called “stigmatization of a ghost”. If you fail to inform a person that many people feel a property is haunted by a ghost a judge can declare a sale null and void. This property is not haunted by a ghost but it is haunted by the pain and history the Hoven’s [sic] have experienced. I live on this fenced in compound in the former Hoven [sic] home with many of the Hoven’s [sic] family and friends. This is not fair to me. The Hoven’s are not friends or neighbors.
The county tax office has denied my request for homestead exemption because they say I do not live on my property. I asked them if they think I live on the moon? Perhaps they think I am a ghost. I called the local FBI because Jared’s tenants kept me on a spot for two seconds while they tried to take mail from my hands. The FBI tells me a crime took place and I should call the police. I call the police and they say no crime has taken place because my mail never left my hands. I show the police the first fake legal letter of harassment I received. The police read the entire letter and instead of saying this letter is a crime they say talk to those people (the Hoven’s [sic]) about buying you out. I pray the court issue a mandamus that the United States Treasury pay 107 thousand dollars to me.
I ask the court to rder the United States Treasury to do a risk assessment before selling a seized property to the public. I would further ask the court to order the United States Treasury to allow the public 6 months to back out of a sale if threats or harassment visit them.
Anthony Jaworski Pro Se
As mentioned above, Jaworski still owns the property and the most recent taxes are paid. It appears that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed Jaworski’s case in 2014. I’ll leave it to the conclusion of the reader as to whether to believe Jaworski or not.
Fred Settles and Bill Bass I have not been able to track down yet. Rudy noted that Settles apparently died last fall in prison. Given the three guys above, I would bet money that Settles and Bass were eyeball-deep in the tax protester and/or sovereign citizen movements.
Rudy also informed Kent that Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice would not take his case. (Probably the only time I’ve agreed with the ACLJ on anything!) Rudy is still talking with the Rutherford Institute (John Whitehead’s organization) and was told to send some information about the case. So what did Rudy send? He sent a 2005 “testimony” Kent wanted given to the grand jury (and which Kent read, in somewhat altered form, at his 2007 sentencing), an interview with James David Manning and a flyer Jerry Rose put together that’s chock-full of inaccuracies.
Rudy then asked what Kent wants the Rutherford people to do, if he can get them interested. Kent wants them to come to court and be “of counsel” to him, but not to actually represent him, because then they’d be trapped by lots of lawyer rules. Kent gave every impression that he’s going to represent himself at his trial. Remembering that old adage about representing yourself in court (you have a fool for a client), I don’t think this is going to work out very well for Kent.
The chat also had a head-scratching non-sequitur about the IRS being part of the Puerto Rican Mafia. Where does that come from?
It’s Saturday, so it’s time for the weekly Kent Hovind brainstorming hour. I haven’t listened to the entire thing yet, but I was pointed to a discussion about the crime of structuring and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act at about 37 minutes in to the video. Rudy Davis and Ernie Land have a pretty much fact-free discussion about RICO and how it applies to Kent’s case. They double down on the assertion, mentioned earlier this week in the PRWeb press release, that Kent is in prison due to RICO, which is simply not true. RICO is not mentioned in the indictment, nor is it mentioned anywhere in the transcripts of the case.
This is what I told Rudy underneath the video:
Kent Hovind is not in prison for a misapplied RICO (pronounced REE-ko) statute. It is not in his indictment. It was not mentioned at his trial. You and Ernie continue to spread falsehoods on this matter. I work for a large financial institution in technology and every year I have to take training on the Bank Secrecy Act. It is that Act which defines what structuring is.
The example given in this year’s training to describe how broadly we in the financial industry are to take structuring was this: You are in an elevator with two other employees. One mentions to another that he’s selling a vehicle and he wants to know how he can deposit the funds so as to avoid the reporting requirement. That triggers reporting on my part. Yes, it is that broad.
I don’t expect a correction out of the “Christian warriors,” because that would interfere with the myth that Kent Hovind is an innocent man.
Kent Hovind’s co-defendant Paul John Hansen called Rudy (LoneStar1776) Davis yesterday. In the first part of the call, Hansen snows a credulous Rudy Davis regarding jurisdiction.
About 09:45 Hansen goes on about how he had to notify the title company because he was a “trustee of a church ministry” and he had a “moral duty” to let them know that the property (which, I will remind you, had been forfeited to the US) was tied up in litigation. It sounds like to me that Hansen is going to use the defense that he had a Christian duty to let everyone know that they were going to pursue an action against that property. “How can a Christian conviction be converted into a crime?” Hansen says. Then he goes on about how if he mails a letter to Pensacola, how does he (Hansen) know that it’s going to move through a “federal zone” to give the feds jurisdiction? “I don’t,” Hansen says. “I didn’t know it was going to be moved through a federal zone.” Of course, I doubt his sovereign citizen jurisdictional argument is going to even see the light of day in court, although I strongly suspect he’s going to give his public defender a case of agita before the end of the trial, if the guy doesn’t already have one.
Rudy asks: Why are you being targeted? Hansen: “Oh, because Kent Hovind is a high-profile person who communicates with millions of people every year. They want to discredit him in every possible way they can.” (I think not paying your taxes due and owing is enough discrediting in my mind.) Hansen goes on to say that “they” will spend money to get Kent Hovind, because he costs “them” tens or millions of dollars. “They’ll even kill him,” Hansen said. Rudy lets Hansen have the last word and Hansen goes off on some conspiracy theory about a guy (whose name is unclear) who was injected with cancer cells and killed by “them.” Yay conspiracy theories.
PRWeb didn’t let Rudy get away with his usual attacks on Judge Rodgers, so this press release is a bit toned down. It’s mostly opinion, but there are a few “facts” here that need additional explanation and deconstruction.
This press release is being issued by a growing grassroots campaign, including Mr. Ernie Land and Mr. Rudy Davis, to raise awareness about the plight of Dr. Kent Hovind. Dr. Kent Hovind has been in prison for eight years and is now facing possible life imprisonment on new charges.
Pensacola, FL (PRWEB) February 05, 2015
Dr. Kent Hovind, imprisoned Baptist Minister and world-renowned Creation Science Evangelist, is scheduled for trial on March 2, 2015, facing new charges of alleged mail fraud. The case number is #3:14-cr-91/MCR and the court of record is the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division. This case accuses Hovind of intent to defraud the United States through a Claim of Lien Affidavit of Obligation with attachments and four Memoranda of Lis Pendens.
This case is actually an outgrowth of the 2006 cases U.S. v. Kent Hovind, U.S. v. Jo Hovind. (Document repository here.) On November 2, 2006, Kent Hovind was found guilty of 12 counts of tax evasion, 45 counts of structuring (also known as “smurfing”) and one count of obstructing the IRS. As part of his sentence, Hovind was found liable for $604,874.87 in employment taxes for the tax evasion counts and forfeited $430,400 for the structuring.
It became clear that the Hovinds did not have the cash to pay the $430,400 forfeiture, so the U.S. government asked for an order to seize real property owned by the Hovinds (as detailed in the U.S.’s motion for summary judgment dated 10/31/2008). Judge M. Casey Rodgers issued the requested order on July 29, 2009 allowing the U.S. to seize 11 properties owned by the Hovinds (either directly or via “trusts” set up by Glen Stoll, as detailed in that order) and sell them to make up the $430,400 forfeiture. Judge Rodgers noted that the value of the land forfeited exceeded the amount owed by the Hovinds, and also ordered that the land be sold piecemeal only up to the amount owed, and then the rest should be returned to the Hovinds.
Thus, eleven properties were forfeited to the government. At that point, Kent Hovind and his friends (including Paul John Hansen, the other defendant in the current case) began filing liens against the properties in the records of the Escambia County Clerk in order to cloud the title and prevent the sale of the properties. As a result, the government sought and received an order on June 28, 2012, enjoining Creation Science Evangelism and the trusts which had owned the properties forfeited from filing liens on the property:
3. Defendants are hereby permanently enjoined from interfering with the rights of the United States of America in and to the property described above in any manner including fling or attempting to file liens, claims or other encumbrances in any manner whatsoever without a prior order of this court. Defendants are also enjoined from filing or attempting to file, directly or through the services of others, new notices of lien, indebtedness, claims or purported liens, of whatever nature, with the Clerk of Court in and for Escambia County, Florida, on any property forfeited to the United States.
Despite this order, Kent Hovind caused lis pendens to be filed against four properties on May 29, 2013. At the time, Hovind was incarcerated in New Hampshire and presumably the lis pendens were transmitted to someone else, who filed them with the Escambia County Clerk. On October 2, 2013, Judge Rodgers issued an order that the lis pendens were to be dissolved and her order was to be appended to the properties in the county records. Additionally, the government was ordered to show cause as to why Hovind should not be held liable for criminal or civil contempt. This is the basis of the current action, which was changed from a criminal contempt case to the current charges of mail fraud. (I-Dee Holmes-presume this is due to the involvement of Paul John Hansen in the alleged crimes, but that has not yet been proven.)
Dr. Hovind, age 62, is known by thousands of fans as “Dr. Dino” due to his passion for dinosaurs. He is the husband of Jo Hovind, father of three, and a grandfather. If convicted, his sentence could range from 20 to 100 years. At the news of the new charges and upcoming trial, longtime Hovind supporters have begun a campaign to enlist the help of congressmen to investigate Hovind’s case and to increase public awareness of the new charges being brought against a man who has taken a vow of poverty.
As noted above, Hovind was found to have constructive ownership of eleven properties which were forfeited to the U.S. government. Hovind attempted to obscure the ownership of those properties by placing them within trusts, but the court saw those as sham attempts to get around the forfeiture. Moreover, Hovind’s operations (Creation Science Evangelism and Dinosaur Adventure Land) took in over $1.5 million a year at their height per testimony at the 2006 trial and Hovind had effective control of these funds, again, despite the fact that he tried to obscure this via the use of trusts sold to him by Glen Stoll. (Stoll was enjoined in 2005 from selling his “ministerial trust” packages.)
Supporters of Hovind include Rudy Davis, who urges people to “pray, watch Hovind’s videos on YouTube, get educated about the case, sign the petition, donateto and support the Free Kent Hovind movement, and write to Hovind in prison.”
Potential supporters should also investigate thoroughly the information contained on this website, which will disabuse some notions being spread by the Kent Hovind Fan Club.
In January of 2007, Hovind was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly violating RICO statute and IRS employer tax laws (Case # 3:06-cr-00083-MCR-2 USA v. HOVIND et al; Court of Record in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division).
As noted above, Kent Hovind was convicted of 12 counts of tax evasion, 45 counts of structuring and one count of obstructing the IRS. No RICO charges were returned by the grand jury and Kent Hovind was found guilty of all the charges for which he was indicted on November 2, 2006. I (Dee Holmes) can only say that this is an expansion of the Kent Hovind Legendarium by throwing in a non-existent RICO charge.
In Kent’s sentencing trial transcript from January 19, 2007, Kent stated “Our ministry has been demonized through the media.”
Interestingly, up until January 19, 2015, the only copy of the transcript of Hovind’s sentencing was a redacted copy which only included testimonials from Kent’s son Eric, a couple other people, and Kent’s own allocution/defense. Consequently, for many years, people received a very one-sided presentation of what happened at the sentencing. I (Dee Holmes) put out a request for the complete trial transcript, received it and made it available. Interestingly, after the complete transcript became available for anyone to view, Hovind’s followers, including Rudy Davis, really amped up the volume on a longstanding accusation that Judge Rodgers had called Hovind’s crimes “worse than rape” (which does not exist in the complete transcript.
Contact: Rudy Davis
Rudy Davis managed to work out his problems with PRWeb and his Hovind press release went out last night. I (Dee Holmes) have not had a chance to examine the document thoroughly, but I noticed one whopper to add to the Kent Hovind Legendarium.
In January of 2007, Hovind was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly violating RICO statute and IRS employer tax laws (Case # 3:06-cr-00083-MCR-2 USA v. HOVIND et al; Court of Record in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division).
Rudy Davis issued a press release on February 2 via the “Christian News Wire.” Today, a website called the “New American” proceeded to regurgitate the talking points. Here we go with the deconstruction. The article will be in green font:
Pastor Kent Hovind, a powerful advocate of biblical creationism who has already served almost 100 months in federal prison as part of what his supporters say amounts to a ruthless government campaign of religious persecution,
Kent Hovind was convicted of 12 counts of failing to pay income and Social Security taxes for his employees, 45 counts of structuring (a charge usually reserved for drug dealers and terrorists) and one count of obstructing the IRS. The trial transcripts, sentencing hearing and other documents related to this 2006 case (with the exception of the appellate decision) can be found at this link.
is now potentially facing up to 100 years behind bars. As federal prosecutors prepare to make their case for keeping Dr. Hovind incarcerated for the rest of his natural life, however, a growing grassroots campaignacross America is demanding that he be set him free — and that those responsible for allegedly railroading him be held accountable, including potentially the judge, who has developed a reputation among those following the case as having a strong anti-Christian bias.
I think the most appropriate way to deal with this is to quote Judge M. Casey Rodgers, from Hovind’s sentencing (pages 105-106):
All right. Let me make a few things clear before I impose sentence in the case. First, I want you all to understand and be clear on the fact that this case is not and has never been about religion. It was Mr. Hovind, not the government, who injected religion into this case during this trial.
Moreover, the charges in this case (tax evasion, structuring and obstruction of the IRS) do not contain an element that says “you must be a born-again, on fire Christian to be convicted of this offense. And, finally, Bekah Horton, the namesake of Christian homeschooling book publisher A Beka Book, took the stand against Kent Hovind at the 2006 and testified against him.
The alleged anti-Christian bias from Judge Rodgers comes from her handling of a case entitled Does v School Board For Santa Rosa County, Florida (link is to the amended consent decree from 2011. It should be noted that the school district originally entered into a negotiated consent decree without a trial in 2008. In 2009, there were reports the consent decree was violated and there were some court hearings to determine if school officials had violated its terms, which resulted in the above-linked consent decree. No trial was ever held.
With the IRS now embroiled in escalating scandal surrounding politically motivated attacks against conservatives and Tea Party groups, analysts say Hovind’s case is now especially important and ought to be probed by Congress.
Red herring. Hovind’s case has nothing to do with the alleged IRS scandal.
There are also a number of irregularities in every step of the process that resulted in the pastor landing behind bars, his supporters say. Meanwhile, the Justice Department attorney who secured Hovind’s original conviction was arrested for attempting to rape a child shortly after he won the case against the pastor.
The assistant U.S. attorney on the case was Michelle Heldmyer. She tried the case in front of the jury. The rapist was assistant U.S. attorney J.D. Roy Atchison. He filed exactly two documents in the case, numbers 209 (6/26/2007) and 211 (6/28/2007) on the docket of the Kent and Jo Hovind trial, which can be found here: http://www.hovindology.com/?page_id=4 . Number 211 was a withdrawal of number 209. So Atchison’s involvement in the 2006 Hovind case was virtually nil. On top of that, Atchison wasn’t arrested until September 16, 2007, which is months after Kent went to prison. (Atchison committed suicide on October 5, 2007, obviously before he could be tried.)
Critics of the prosecution cite that, and other facts, as further evidence that Hovind was targeted for his beliefs and his effectiveness in challenging the evolution theory and other key elements of the secular faith, rather than for actual tax violations.
If this were true, then why isn’t Ken Ham, head of Answers in Genesis and the promoter of the Creation Museum, not in prison?
Dr. Hovind’s original case, which resulted in the first 10-year prison sentence, had raised eyebrows nationwide long before the latest twist in the ordeal. After going through three grand juries to finally get a trial,
Hovind was under investigation by the IRS long before his home and place of employment were raided in April 2004. He and his wife were indicted in July 2006. It should be noted that grand jury terms are for 18 months. It is entirely possible that multiple grand juries could have sat during the investigation period. Additionally, it would be a breach of grand jury secrecy and a violation of the law for there to be a leak about how many grand juries had heard the Hovind case.
with a judge whom critics said displayed blatant hostility against Christians,
See above for how ridiculous this is.
Hovind was convicted of a number of “financial crimes.” Taxation-focused analyst Peter Reilly, following the case in Forbes, suggested Hovind may have followed bad advice from a “tax protester.”
Hovind has a long history as a tax protester. Agent M.C. Powe testified in 2006 that after she seized vehicles from Kent Hovind in 1996 to make up a tax arrearage for the years 1989-1994, she was sued at least three times by Hovind. (See trial transcript volume 2 for Powe’s testimony.)
In 1998, both Kent and Jo Hovind signed a sovereign citizen style document attempting to revoke their signatures and claimed (as in original): “I/WE ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN, NOT RESIDING ON ANY FEDERAL TERRITORY,” which is standard sovereign citizen lingo. Another Sovereign citizen “tell” are the references to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). In the 1998 document, Hovind references UCC sections 2-608, 1-103, and 1-207.
Daniel Nelson, a former employee of Creation Science Evangelism, also testified that Joe Sweet taped a video at CSE about taxes (trial transcript, volume 3, pages 78 ff). Nelson testified (with sidebars omitted):
Q. At some point in time, prior to January of 1998, did you attend a videotaping event?
A. Prior to ’98?
Q. Prior to 1998. Let me throw out a name and see if this means anything to you. Joe Sweet.
A. Yes, I know Joe Sweet.
Q. Did Joe Sweet give any talks or lectures at CSE?
Q. What was the subject matter of his talks or lectures?
A. I think it was Good News, was the title of the speech.
Q. What was the subject matter?
A. Taxes. (page 78)
(skipping to page 80)
Q. Mr. Nelson, we were talking about this tape recording of Joe Sweet. Do you have an approximate time frame for this particular tape recording?
A. No. You threw me off when you said it was prior to ’98,because I don’t remember it being before I even came there.
Q. You don’t remember one way or another?
Q. All right. Tell me about the circumstances — before you tell me about what Mr. Sweet was saying, tell me about the circumstances surrounding the taping, who was there, who was doing the taping, where was it.
A. It was on the gazebo at the headquarters. Mr. Sweet wanted a video copy. We had the equipment to be able to do that for him, and Mr. Hovind offered to allow the recording to happen so that he could have it for his own ministry. Several of — friends and family and stuff like that were invited, just so that there would be an audience for audience shots.
Q. Who actually did the videotaping?
A. I don’t know
Q. Was Mr. Hovind in attendance?
A. I don’t know the answer to that.
Q. How about Mrs. Hovind?
A. I believe Mrs. Hovind was there.
Q. And you were there?
A. I was there.
Q. Any of the other people who worked there at CSE?
A. I don’t remember.
Q. Do you know how big an audience there was?
A. I would doubt that it was probably more than 10, 12 people.
Q. Thank you for your patience, Mr. Nelson. I was asking about generally the subject matter of the lecture that Mr. Sweet gave that was recorded.
A. It was about taxes.
Q. And what position was Mr. Sweet taking on taxes?
A. That it was not necessary to pay them.
Note that title, Good News. In 2002, the United States got an injunction which states the following:
4. Both EDM and Sweet (either individually or doing business thorugh any entity) and their representatives, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and others acting in concert with any of the, are immediately and permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly:
(a) Organizing, promoting, marketing, or selling the tax shelter, plan or arrangement entitled “GOOD NEWS for FORM 1040 Filers: Your Compliance is Strictly Voluntary! BAD NEWS for the IRS! Everything You Ever Needed to Know About the Income Tax That the IRS Is Afraid You’ll Find Out” or any other abusive tax shelter, plan, or arrangement that incites taxpayers to attempt to violate the internal revenue laws of the United States or unlawfully evade the assessment or collection of federal tax liability; [emphasis added]
Also, Joe Sweet is currently a guest of the Federal Bureau of Prisons as he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2010 for (as the appellate opinion put it):
conspiracy to defraud the United States by advocating the intentional disruption of the assessment, ascertainment and collection of federal income tax, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Defendant Sweet was also convicted of corrupt interference with internal revenue laws, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a), and two counts of criminal contempt, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 401(3).
The evidence is quite clear that Kent Hovind is a tax protester and sovereign citizen. He believes he does not have to pay any taxes, nor does he believe he has to obtain any building permits. (See Pensapedia for a long fight Hovind had with the city of Pensacola over a permit for Dinosaur Adventure Land.)
Hovind, though, has consistently maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, and growing numbers of supporters across America agree with him. Even if he was in fact guilty of the charges, which Hovind and his supporters deny, critics of the prosecution and court case have been pointing out that the average jail time for those convicted of tax-related crimes in 2013 was 14 months. Many simply pay a fine.
As just noted, Joe Sweet is currently serving a 10 year sentence. Another friend of Kent Hovind’s, named Lindsey Springer, is also a guest of the Bureau of Prisons until 2023 due to tax evasion.
Obama ally and race-monger Al Sharpton, for example, who still owes millions in back taxes, has visited the White House dozens of times in recent years. Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner, who failed to pay his taxes despite signing an agreement indicating that he needed to and understood that, was even selected to be Obama’s Treasury Secretary. Democrat Representative Charlie Rangel, who for years served as the chairman of the congressional committee in charge of writing the federal tax code, came under major fire after failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owned in the Dominican Republic. As of September 2013, over 318,000 federal employees owed some $3.3 billion in back taxes. Not one of them is in prison for failure to pay.
Al Sharpton has been on my “list” since the late 1980s due to his activities in the Tawana Brawley case. As for the rest of the people, note that Hovind was convicted of failing to pay taxes and Social Security for his employees. (Hovind claims they were not employees, but testimony at the trial showed they punched a clock and got vacation and sick time, which is not the hallmark of contractors.) He deliberately denied his employees their statutory right to have their employer pay into the Social Security fund. In order to get Social Security, you have to work 40 quarters. Hovind’s employees may have been denied up to 12 quarters of payment by their employer into the fund. Hovind’s people like to claim the crime is victimless–I don’t think so.
However, Pastor Hovind, often referred to as “Dr. Dino” due to his passion for dinosaurs, has been behind bars in 20 different prisons for over eight years so far on seemingly far less serious charges — and could remain there until death if prosecutors and the judge get their way. The latest charges surround an effort Hovind made from prison to contest the liens that were allegedly improperly placed on his ministry’s property by the federal government. He is being accused of “contempt of court” and alleged “mail fraud” for using the prison mail system to fight back against having the ministry’s assets seized by filing what has been described as a notice that litigation on the property was ongoing.
The facts are that as a result of the 2006 trial, the property making up CSE, DAL and the Hovind home was seized to make up the partial money judgment of $430,400 assessed. Since the amount of cash seized did not total the amount owed, the government got permission to take the property. The property has been owned by the US government since 2009. All Hovind has been doing by having his friends file liens and by himself filing the lis pendens is put off the inevitable. It should also be noted that both Kent and Jo Hovind have been found liable for over $3 million in personal income tax due and owing for 1998-2004. (He really does believe he doesn’t owe anyone any taxes.)
Please note that until the government presents its evidence, I can’t judge whether Kent Hovind is innocent or guilty of what he’s been charged with. For all we know, the prosecution may not be able to prove all the elements of the charges of mail fraud.
The upcoming case to determine Hovind’s fate was supposed to take place next week, but has again been postponed by officials, this time until March, due to “family issues.”
Do you want to say that to the face of the assistant U.S. attorney who requested the extension? I doubt it.
“We need bold Christians to make a statement,” said Rudy Davis, a friend of Pastor Hovind who speaks with him daily and is working to raise awareness of what he says is relentless government persecution against Dr. Dino. “Mainstream media is ignoring Dr. Kent’s case…. We desperately need to speak up now.” According to Davis, who describes himself as a Bible-believing follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spiritual answer for why Hovind is being persecuted boils down to this: “Kent was exposing Satan’s kingdom and Satan’s deceptions.” Numerous Hovind supporters, including popular firebrand Reverend James David Manning and Southern Baptist leader Reverend Wiley Drake, have expressed similar sentiments, indicating that Hovind is indeed being persecuted.
This is obviously fact-free. As noted above, young earth creationist Ken Ham is not in jail nor facing tax evasion charges.
“I along with so many others are deeply grieved in our hearts when we hear that they are trying to keep Kent Hovind in prison for the remainder of his life as people were looking forward to him being released in 2015,” Davis, one of Hovind’s most passionate supporters, told The New American. “I truly believe this is an innocent man in prison and a POW (Prisoner of War) in the spiritual warfare of Good vs Evil. God will get the glory in Kent’s case no matter what. As you may know, Kent will not compromise with the devil and has maintained his innocence the entire 99 months that he has been incarcerated…. We are asking that you educate yourself and take whatever action God leads on behalf of our brother in the Lord, Kent Hovind.”
Another fact-free paragraph of full of emotion from Rudy Davis.
In an e-mail to The New American about why the federal government would persecute Hovind, Davis pointed to a video where the pastor explores some of the horrifying atrocities perpetrated under cover of the evolution theory. Hovind, a former science teacher, firmly rejects the theory as an attack on the Bible and the Christian faith. For years, he traveled the nation exposing flaws in school textbooks on the issue. In the introduction to the video, Pastor Hovind declares that the evolution theory is “not only dumb, it’s dangerous.” Prior to being thrown in prison, the pastor was among the nation’s leading advocates for creation science. His seminars and debates against evolutionists had been viewed countless times online by people around the world, and supporters say he was quickly changing hearts and minds.
And this has nothing to do with neither the 2006 nor the 2015 trials.
Then, the federal government launched its campaign to lock him up on tax charges. The first 12 counts surrounded Hovind’s alleged failure to withhold taxes from employees of his Christian ministry. “First of all, we didn’t have any employees,” Hovind explained in a recorded interview posted on YouTube, adding that all the missionaries and volunteers were independent contractors responsible for their own tax filings. “Churches are not obligated to withhold anyway, and I showed all the laws in a 2005 affidavit.” He also said he asked the IRS what he should do. The agency never responded, until showing up to arrest him with a heavily armed SWAT team in what critics say was extreme overkill — to put it mildly, considering that his wife was dragged out of bed at gunpoint and not even allowed to get dressed. One video urging Hovind’s release cited 20 attacks on the pastor that “North Korea would welcome.”
The 20 arguments have been thoroughly deconstructed at the following link: http://www.hovindology.com/?p=35 . Hovind was found to be an employer, and required to withhold income and Social Security taxes, which he deliberately did not do.
The second set of charges involved “structuring,” which, as Hovind put it in the online interview, “I had never heard of,” just like the overwhelming majority of Americans. Essentially, the controversial statute in question — written primarily for drug dealers and organized crime syndicates, not churches or pastors — makes it a crime to take out over $10,000 per day from a bank account in multiple rounds, if the intent is to prevent the creation of federally mandated records used for spying on Americans’ financial activities in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Hovind says he did no such thing.
“After trial, the judge changed the jury instructions and told the jury ‘if you find out that the Hovinds took out less than $10,000, you have to find them guilty,’ which is not what the law says,” Hovind explained from prison, suggesting that the judge misled the jury.
No, Kent Hovind is misleading the readers. Quoting directly from the federal jury instruction manual regarding the crime of structuring, this is what has to be proven to be convicted of the crime of structuring. Note that no dollar amount is mentioned.
FIRST, that the defendant had knowledge of the currency transaction reporting requirements;
SECOND, that the defendant knowingly and willfully [structured] or [assisted in structuring] or [attempted to structure] or [attempted to assist in structuring] a currency transaction;
THIRD, that the purpose of the structured [or attempted] transaction was to evade the currency transaction reporting requirements of § 5313(a);
FOURTH, that the defendant knew that structuring was unlawful; and
FIFTH, that the structured transaction(s) involved one or more domestic financial institutions.
“The law says over $10,000. So the jury, of course, confused by all that, said, ‘yeah, they took out less than $10,000, that’s obvious.’” Then, using drug statutes, the Justice Department’s pedophile attorney on the case demanded that the church’s money be forfeited, and so sought to seize the ministry’s property under asset forfeiture schemes also designed for drug dealers and crime bosses.
Shortly after attempting to seize all of the ministry’s property, the U.S. government lawyer prosecuting Pastor Hovind was arrested by the FBI in a sting operation in Detroit for trying to have sex with a five-year-old child. Assistant U.S. Attorney John David “Roy” Atchison, after being charged with “enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity using the Internet,” “aggravated sexual abuse,” and “traveling across state lines to have sex with someone under the age of 12,” ended up committing suicide by hanging himself in jail.
As noted above, J.D. Roy Atchison filed two documents with the court, both after Hovind was incarcerated and the second was dropped. Atchison was arrested after Hovind went to prison and was not the assistant U.S. attorney trying the case.
The other assistant U.S. attorney on Hovind’s case, Michelle Heldmyer, was in the news in the early 1990s after her husband was reportedly found to be on the same mailing list for obscene pornography as a judge who killed himself after getting caught.
The final charge against Hovind, according to critics of the prosecution and the court, is also perhaps the most outlandish. According to prosecutors, Hovind allegedly “threatened” an IRS agent while the agent was doing his “duty.” The name of the agent and the nature of the threat have never been publicly revealed, but Hovind thinks he might know. “The only thing we could figure out, there was never anything on that, other than that I prayed for the guy on the radio after they raided the ministry,” Hovind said inthe interview from jail posted on YouTube. “I was doing a radio program and I prayed for him, I said, ‘Lord, I’m your child, I want you to handle this’.” Hovind says he was essentially given three additional years in prison for praying on the radio.
Testimony in court showed that Hovind sued agent Powe at least three times, and he also sued Special Agent Schneider a number of times. After his conviction, Hovind told a caller the following regarding Schneider:
11/16/06 3:02 PM [00:45]
Unk: (?doing a) good job.
Kent: I think there’s real close to a zero chance they’re going to come seize anything.
Kent: That’s what all the attorneys say too. They could, there’s zero chance that they could do it legally.
Unk: Oh, yeah.
Kent: Can they do it actually? Well, look at what they’ve done so far. But obviously, yeah. About the only thing we’ve got going for us is that Scott Schneider, who is a bit afraid that I will sue him.
Kent: And I will!
Kent: I’ll do it again! [chuckles]
Kent: And the rest of his life, if he doesn’t start obeying the law, I’m going to haunt him the rest of his life.
Unk: I hope you do.
Kent: Just keep, he needs to obey the law. He’s got a badge. OK. So what? You know..
Kent: Obey the law then.
Kent: I don’t want to fight these guys. I don’t want to fight ‘em.
Kent: They won’t leave me alone. What can I do? [01:27]
This can be found on the following YouTube video “Kent Hovind – County Jail Telephone Calls” from 00:45 to 01:27.
While the prosecution was suspicious enough to critics, Hovind supporters also say U.S. District Judge Margaret Casey Rodgers improperly played a crucial role in helping the Justice Department lock Hovind away. Across the Internet, websites and videos dedicated to freeing Hovind declare the judge to have a strong “anti-Christian bias.” Among other evidence, they point to a 2009 case in which the judge threatened two school officials with prison time for saying a prayer before a meal at an athletic banquet.
See above for the consent decrees entered in the Santa Rosa School District case.
In Hovind’s trial, meanwhile, the judge was accused in multiple sworn affidavits by witnesses to have declared the pastor’s alleged crimes to be “worse than rape.”
Let’s talk about those affidavits for a moment: They are from:
Theresa Schneider – 04/13/2008
John W. Gusti – 04/11/2008
Kent Andrew Hovind – 04/11/2008
Katie Rudolph – Dated 4/5/2008, Notarized 04/11/2008
Jo Hovind – Dated 4/10/2008, Notarized 04/11/2008
The notary for all of these is a Diane K. Hummel. The Theresa Schneider affidavit was notarized on 4/13/2008, while the other four were notarized on 4/11/2008. There is one other document in the file, which is an e-mail from Greg Dixon, not an affidavit and its significance will become clear in a moment.
None of these affiants have been cross-examined in court. We only know about two of them. One of them is Jo Hovind, who was convicted along with Kent in the 2006 case. Kent A. Hovind is Kent and Jo’s son and he worked for the family business. The other three could be friends, employees, who knows?
It appears, from the Greg Dixon e-mail, that these affidavits were being specifically collected and were to be sent to a Lindsey Springer. That would be the same tax evader Lindsey Springer who currently in prison until 2023, as discussed above.
Even more troubling, perhaps, is that the transcripts were allegedly altered to remove the outlandish jury-influencing statement,
Ah, now we have a new accusation–the statement was made before the jury. Previous to now, it had been said that Judge Rodgers made it at the sentencing, which was on January 19, 2007. Kent Hovind was convicted on November 2, 2006 and the jury had been long dismissed by then. So there was no prejudice to the jury.
and the audio transcript has still not been released despite repeated requests, according to supporters.
The trial was nearly nine years ago. Hovind and his attorney had every opportunity to review the transcript and make objections to its content at the time it was released.
Pastor Hovind, who still sounds upbeat and full of joy in phone interviews posted online, despite spending over eight years in federal prison, thinks a proper inquiry would be appropriate — and that a definite judgment will come eventually, even if it’s in the next life. “I welcome a full investigation before Congress,” said Hovind, who has always been open about his refusal to accept 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS because he believes it unconstitutionally interferes with his right to speak freely. “There will be a full investigation before God one of these days.”
Fact-free bloviations from a man convicted by a jury of his peers and incarcerated.
With Hovind set to be back in court next month on charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life, supporters are encouraging Christians and all Americans to take action. Among other options, Hovind’s friend Davis urged people to pray, watch Hovind’s videos on YouTube, get educated about the case, sign petitions, donate to and support the Free Kent Hovind movement, write to or even visit Hovind in prison in the Florida panhandle, and educate others on the case. Other supporters are urging Americans to contact their elected representatives about the case and demand a thorough, impartial investigation. More information on the whole ordeal from Hovind supporters can be found at www.FreeKentHovind.com and www.2Peter3.com.