Saturday, March 7, 2015

Kent Hovind Trial Day 4 - Owner Of Seized Property Tells Tale Of Threats Abuse And Harassment

Kent Hovind is one of the leading lights in the field of Young Earth Creationism, the notion that there is scientific evidence for a hyper-literal reading of the Book of Genesis. YEC implies that the world is roughly 6,000 years old and dinosaurs and humans must have co-existed.  Nearing the end of a long sentence for tax related crimes, Hovind finds himself on trial this week for fraud and contempt of court related to filings on properties seized in connection with his first conviction.  His co-defendant Paul John Hansen was the trustee of Creation Science Evangelism, Hovind's ministry. Hansen challenges the authority of the government in many areas, including the right to bring him to trial in the federal court in Pensacola.

Abigail Megginson and Ben Sheffler teamed up for this report on Day 4 of the trial.

The Kent Hovind and Paul Hansen trial resumed Friday after a day off, and was highlighted by testimonies from Eric Hovind and multiple Internal Revenue Service agents and the man who had the misfortune to buy from the federal government one of the properties seized from Kent Hovind's ministry.

The prosecution’s attention centered around letters, phone calls and emails that included correspondence with Kent Hovind and Hansen, or mentioned Creation Science Evangelism (CSE) and its properties.

In one instance, Kent Hovind sent a letter to his daughter Marlissa and her husband Paul Dublin, who live at one of the CSE properties. The letter implied that if they testify in court, Marlissa and Paul should say, “I don’t recall,” when asked about any mail and documents received.

Several excerpts of Kent Hovind’s phone conversations, which were recorded as standard procedure for an inmate at the Santa Rosa County Jail, were introduced as evidence.

One call in particular between Kent and his son Eric Hovind on February 13 of this year started off with Eric talking about someone who had just become a Christian. Kent then began implying, through a biblical reference about the apostle Paul’s silence, that Eric should say as little as possible when he testifies in court. Eric immediately stopped him mid-sentence and told his father that the prosecution will use these conversations to slander his character.

In one phone call from Kent Hovind to an unidentified person, Kent said he was told by a Muslim cellmate, whom he described as a legal genius, to go ahead and file lis pendens.

Several email records from Google and MSN were subpoenaed in March 2012, as well as emails from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in July 2013, which concerned the lis pendens, Hansen, God Quest (parent company of Eric Hovind's Creation Today ministry), Creation Today, CSE and the properties in dispute. They were read aloud in court by IRS agent Scott Schneider. Select emails could not be retrieved by Schneider due to the Federal Bureau of Prison’s email system, but Eric Hovind had copied and pasted them and sent them to himself.

Eric Hovind said that he had never met Hansen in person, but had been corresponding with him via email. Hansen became responsible for the CSE trust and had complete legal control over the assets, while Eric had control over the brand and operation.

The prosecution pointed out that Hansen filed liens after his June 1, 2011 indictment on a conspiracy charge. Each and every document and money order was signed by Hansen with no mention of Glen Stoll, who was also part of the CSE trust.

Eric Hovind told the jury he was completely aware of the lis pendens his father was filing. He also stated that Kent Hovind thought the lawsuit he filed in South Carolina would overturn his first conviction, but a sustained objection by the prosecution stopped further comment about the previous conviction.  

The prosecution made clear that Kent Hovind only filed lis pendens on the four properties the government was trying to sell, not any other properties, implying there was intent to disrupt those specific sales.

After the government seized several CSE properties to compensate for the more than $400,000 Kent Hovind owed, Eric Hovind said he and his father disputed about his buying of assets of CSE from the government for Creation Today. Some of those assets included equipment, books, CD’s, websites and promotional rights. Eric jokingly said of the dispute, “Welcome to my family.”

Eric Hovind said he and his family were allowed to stay on the government owned properties rent-free because they kept them maintained, and they weren't to blame for the seizures, which was confirmed by IRS agent Chuck Evans. A July 29, 2009, from the government allowed the sale of some of the properties to the Hovind’s. Eric bought his property for $40,000, Kent Andrew Hovind bought his for $50,000 and Jo Hovind, Kent’s wife, bought hers for $35,000. Throughout this process, Eric said he’s made sure he was receiving good legal and real estate advice.

Anthony Jaworski, who bought the CSE property at 5720 Palafox St, and had subsequently filed a lawsuit against the United States in March 2013 asking for the more than $100,000 he paid for the property to be returned, also testified Friday. In his lawsuit, which was dismissed, Jaworski said he was subject to “threats, abuse, mail harassment and terror,” including a letter from Hansen regarding the legality of his purchase of the property. Jaworski seemed uncomfortable on the stand and said he just wants to sell the property and move back home to Maryland.    

CSE was sold to God Quest in 2007 after Kent Hovind’s first trial in 2006, which then became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in July of that year under Eric Hovind. Eric said in court that his father did not withhold taxes from his employees because he considered them missionaries, not employees.

Eric Hovind said his father is 100 percent sincere about his claims of innocence and considering the employees as missionaries. Around this time, Kent Hovind mouthed the words, “I love you,” and pointed to Eric, who was still on the witness stand.

According to testimony, Hansen did not comply with a subpoena for his fingerprints or handwriting samples. Eventually he was fingerprinted by Hayley Lee of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office--ten rolled, then palm prints. But Hansen wrote “NA under protest” on the card. Then, and even during his arrest at his home in Omaha, Neb., he maintained that officials had to prove his U.S. citizenship. The IRS has not found Hansen to be a citizen of any other country except the U.S.

James Snaidauf, a latent print analyst for the IRS in Chicago since 2008, was brought in regarding Hansen’s fingerprints on a piece of mail. To say that Snaidauf did a thorough job explaining the ins and outs of examining fingerprints to the jury is putting it mildly. He told of the loops, swirls and whorls used to identify fingerprints. These distinctions are created by the ridges which have three levels. Those three levels are then used to more accurately identify the individual.

The prosecution said a search warrant was filed to look into the email accounts of Eric Hovind, Hansen and Marlissa Dublin. However, the search warrant only looked into one of Hansen’s email accounts,, and not other varieties that included more “j’s.” Likewise, only one phone number of Hansen's was searched.

Ed Sealock, another IRS special agent who works in Omaha, Neb., participated in the arrest of Hansen on Oct. 23, 2013.  

Several items were found on Hansen at the time of the arrest, including his cell phone, keys, pen, envelope, belt and money, which was folded in half and clipped. Inside the money was a postcard from Kent Hovind, who urged Hansen to “fix it!” referencing either the “for sale” sign on the 5800 Palafox St. property or the lis pendens.

After the jury left the courtroom to go home for the day, Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers had a few words for the attorneys, especially the defense. Judge Rodgers warned Thomas Keith, Kent Hovind’s public defender, on using a Cheek defense and said, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for defense.” Keith describes Kent as having “legal challenges,” to which Judge Rodgers replied, “At what point do challenges become defiant?” A Cheek defense, a reference to pilot John Cheek who was prosecuted in the 1980's for tax evasion and not filing income tax returns, is a defense that basically consists of an honest but unreasonable belief in the eyes of the court.

“No matter how sincere [Kent Hovind is], I won’t allow that as a defense,” Judge Rodgers said.

Keith believes that Kent Hovind was acting in good faith when raising legal challenges. He says that there was certainly a lack of criminal and specific intent on the part of Kent Hovind.

On the way out of the courthouse, Keith’s court case files fell off of his tiny rolling briefcase he had stacked them on. This could be a metaphor for what may come for the defense. Will it fall apart as the defense makes their case based on “legal challenges” and sincerity? Or will the defense rise to challenge and come out on top in next week’s trial?

18-year-old Abigail Megginson is an up-and-coming journalist from Pensacola, Florida. She is currently the editor-in-chief of her college newspaper (Pensacola State College’s The Corsair) and is looking to break into broadcast journalism.

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Ben Sheffler is a freelance journalist living in Pensacola, Fla. He's studying psychology at the University of West Florida. You can follow him on Twitter @bensheffler.


  1. Eric, Kent and others claim Kent is sincere in what he claims.

    Saying it don't make it so.

    If we are called upon to judge Kent's sincerity of belief regarding his fundamental claims (and we are whenever such claims are put forth), I judge him INsincere.

    I figure he is simply committed to playing out his "Cheek Defense" for all it is worth even if the judge doesn't allow it, as a matter of law, in court.

    To claim sincerity of belief is to ask "us" to either accept it or reject it based on our personal perceptions.

    Based on what I have seen and heard from Kent, I reject his sincerity claim.

    I think Kent is smarter than a lot of his critics are willing to give him credit for and I think Kent knows he has no reasonable basis for his fundamental claims.

    A mental evaluation might inform us regarding the UNreasonable basis for why Kent might, just might actually believe the claims he makes, and if he were to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder it would further explain why he has been acting the way he has been acting.

    1. Mr. Ex IRS employee baty is mentally ill, he admits to lying and defaming Kent Hovind on purpose and harasses a teenage boy who supports Kent Hovind.

      No-one can take you seriously.

      Stay in your basement typing on your keyboard you mentally ill old man.

    2. The anonymous whiner, representative of the character of Hovindicators generally, still refuses to come out in to the light and let me face my accuser(s), and respond to such evidence as they might wish to offer in support of their allegation against me.

      As has been repeatedly noted not, the common tactic among such types is to personally attack the critics and evade dealing with any substantive details regarding Kent Hovind's legal problems.

      I will stay in my basement.
      I will keep typing.
      Kent Hovind will stay incarcerated.

      I win all the way around!

  2. There is no evidence.

    There is no prima facie.

    The Judge is the ring leader of a the circus and the prosecution is the freak show.

    The Judge is trying to silence the defense - it's plain and simple.

    There is no evidence - close the case - it should have never gone to trial...

  3. Some seem to think that Alexander Otis Matthews, the reported Muslim who put Kent on to the lis pendens, was a Government plant intent on causing Kent the trouble he is now in.

    As was noted today by one of their own, the Hovindicators have indeed crossed over into the "silliness" zone.

    Matthews is like Kent when it comes to trying to cause the Government to spend time on him.

    His website is at:

  4. #FreeKent Now! & the irs is an illegitimate terrorist organization swat teaming Pastors that lead souls to Christ!

  5. The IRS dragged Pastor Hovinds wife out of bed and locked her up in a kennel for too long for taking ministry money out of the ministry account to pay missionaries and contractors for helping at the church

    1. The best I can tell, all we really know about Jo Hovind's arrest is that she was arrested at a somewhat inconvenient time.

      Other details cannot be confirmed and the story about the arrest has changed over time.

      Kent Hovind did, effectively, send Jo Hovind to prison for a time.
      He could have prevented it.

      What she was convicted of was "structuring"; making financial transactions in a manner designed to evade bank reporting rules.

  6. "An income tax is neither a property tax nor a tax on occupations of common right, but is an excise tax...The legislature may declare as 'privileged' and tax as such for state revenue, those pursuits not matters of common right, but it has no power to declare as a 'privilege' and tax for revenue purposes, occupations that are of common right."

    “The right to engage in an employment, to carry on a business, or pursue an occupation or profession not in itself hurtful or conducted in a manner injurious to the public, is a common right, which, under our Constitution, as construed by all our former decisions, can neither be prohibited nor hampered by laying a tax for State revenue on the occupation, employment, business or profession. ... Thousands of individuals in this State carry on their occupations as above defined who derive no income whatever therefrom. But, where an income is derived from any occupation, business, profession or employment, then the Legislature may lay thereon a tax...”

    Sims v. Ahrens, 271 SW 720 (Ark. S. Ct. 1925) (emphasis added)

  7. howyoubecomeliable dot com Please take the test. Learn the Alice in Wonderland world of the Internal Revenue Code. If you are not a federal employee, you aren't an employee at all and not subject to the tax. Read cracking the code free at dot pdf

  8. You believe some crazy stuff, Anonymous. Too bad it doesn't fly in reality, in court.

  9. The times of Hovind's life:

  10. Our government is a thief.
    Our justice is perverted.
    And I see how Governments turn into rules of's stupid inhabitants.
    Private property doesn't exist if the government can throw you in jail over it.
    Who gives them that right btw? what is the governments job btw? Apparently people think it's to manage our money and property. All you folks who don't support Hovind in this trial enslave yourself to the almighty government. Congrats.

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    1. You should read about Godwins's law

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    4. Exactly, Laura! Your original comment at 2:17PM is a great example of a "red herring." Thanks for playing!

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