I got a call this afternoon Kevin Robinson the reporter for the Pensacola News Journal who is covering the Kent Hovind trial. He told me that the case has been continued to March 2. I have to tell you that when I read the Government's third motion for continuance I was really annoyed. A family matter has caused the government attorney assigned to the case to be out of the office for most of January. I felt like doing a rant like the one Rudy Davis did on me about objecting to the way Kent uses the word "retarded".
What about Kent being separated from his family for another month? He objected, but apparently the judge went with the Government. Ernie Land commented
Kent adamantly opposed the new delay. The Public Defender wanted to move ahead, even if they had to separate Paul Hansen from Kent. I will assume that the defense motion was denied and the prosecutions motion for delay was allowed. I think once again they bring the case and the judge favors them. Maybe that why so many Federal Public defenders move on to other assignments so quickly since they can never win anything. I’ve even noted the head of the department who is Kent’s Attorney has expressed his opinion on the unfair system. By the way I have a handwritten letter from Kent asking the judge recluse herself because of her known bias toward Christians, as in the contempt of 2 teachers where Congressional leaders did take action to get those dismissed. We have a tough fight to fight here with her at the bench. I will be most happy to lend any help I can toward reports. I do want to be very clear in my/our opinion of the biased judge, the overreach in sentencing as compared to many other tax evaders or even structuring where the money was not used for crimes and many got very light sentences compared to Kent, and the final statement is that Kent did not set out to evade taxes, he set out to set up a Ministry not controlled by the State which was his resistance to a 501c3 Corporation. Those will be my points along with whatever the daily events bring out.Documents Come To Light
If there is one person not directly involved in the case that the Hovindicators have issues with it is my friend and best commenter, bane of the basketball ministers, retired IRS Appeals officer Bob Baty, whose facebook page Kent Hovind and Jo Hovind v USA - IRS contains a good chronology of coverage from all angles since late July of 2013. Bob has a style that can be a little irritating to some. Hovinidcators tend to be a kind of ambivalent about me, but Bob consistently raises their hackles.
Ironically it was Bob who found the case that calls into question the validity of Kent's 2006 structuring indictment. Now he has found some more documents.
Kent has maintained that he wrote to and received responses from a lawyer, an enrolled agent and a CPA that told him everything he was doing was OK. Nobody seemed to be able to find them
Bob has found copies of all four of those letters. The documents are of uncertain provenance, so I checked with Ernie Land. He confirmed that he had seen one of them and the names on the others were mentioned in the sentencing transcript that Rudy read.
The are not in a real convenient form but here are the links
Letter From Kent - Page 1 Page 2
Letter From Fred M Ortiz Tax Consultant September 12, 1996
- Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9
Letter From John J Schlabach EA September 10, 1996 (Confirmed by Ernie Land)
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11
Letter From Guy Curtis August 29, 1996
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
So once again Bob Baty comes through for the Hovindicators.
Do These Letters Line Up With Kent's Statements About Them?
Not really. Kent has been saying that he had letters from three tax professionals that told him everything he was doing was OK. As Ernie is wont to point out, despite the large civil liability, Kent was never criminally prosecuted for not filing Form 1040. That is all the letters are about. They say nothing about the way the ministry was run including the payroll tax.
A further drawback is that the arguments in the responses are all arguments that the courts have over and over ruled to be frivolous. Guy Curtis in particular seems to be have been inspired by Irwin Schiff, who like Kent is in federal prison.
In 1999, Ronald McDougle (TCM 1999-264) tried to use letters from Fred Ortiz and Guy Curtis to get out of penalties. The Tax Court was not having any of it
The main theme of the letters, and petitioner's argument, is that he is not required to file a Federal income tax return because it is a voluntary practice. Paying taxes is not voluntary. See Wilcox v. Commissioner, 848 F.2d 1007, 1008 [61 AFTR 2d 88-1299] (9th Cir. 1988), affg. T.C. Memo. 1987-225 [¶87,225 PH Memo TC]; Carter v. Commissioner, 784 F.2d 1006, 1009 [57 AFTR 2d 86-1009] (9th Cir. 1986); Malone v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1998- 372 [1998 RIA TC Memo ¶98,372]; Liddane v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1998- 259 [1998 RIA TC Memo ¶98,259]; Stonerock v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1986-264 [¶86,264 PH Memo TC]; see also United States v. Bressler, 772 F.2d 287, 292 [56 AFTR 2d 85-5884] (7th Cir. 1985); May v. Commissioner, 752 F.2d 1301, 1304 & n.3 [55 AFTR 2d 85-747] (8th Cir. 1985); United States v. Wilber, 696 F.2d 79, 80 [51 AFTR 2d 83-619] (8th Cir. 1982).
The letters also contain additional hackneyed arguments that have been universally rejected by this and other courts. See Wilcox v. Commissioner, supra; see also Fujita v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 19 164 [1999 RIA TC Memo ¶99,164]. We shall not painstakingly address petitioner's assertions “with somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent; to do so might suggest that these arguments have some colorable merit.” See Crain v. Commissioner, 737 F.2d 1417 [54 AFTR 2d 84- 5698] (5th Cir. 1984). No useful purpose would be served by any further explanation. Suffice to say, petitioner is subject to Federal income tax during the relevant years, and we sustain respondent's deficiency determinations.
While reliance on advice as to whether a return must be filed may constitute reasonable cause, the person giving that advice must be competent to render that advice and the reliance on that advice must be reasonable. (Emphasis added)
So if Kent's reliance on the letters was ever reasonable, it stopped being reasonable in 1999.
It is possible that the letters may have been responsible for Kent not being indicted for income tax evasion, so maybe he did get his money's worth. That is what letters like that were designed for.
I noticed this website which had a post titled It Is Time To Rise Up Together and Demand HOVINDICATION. I don't know who coined the term, but inspired by it I am going to refer to Kent's most passionate public supporters as Hovindicators. I think they may like it.
Exercise For The Students
I'd be happy to get a guest post from someone who would like to thoroughly deconstruct the arguments in the letters. I really don't have the patience.