Saturday, December 09, 2006

Philly Jury without brotherly love. Rejects voluntary-tax argument & link to Wesley Snipes

Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/09/2006 | Jury rejects voluntary-tax argument Jury rejects voluntary-tax argument
By John Shiffman
Inquirer Staff Writer

A Bucks County engineer who did not pay federal income taxes for three years because he said he believed such payments are voluntary was convicted yesterday of tax evasion.

A federal jury in Philadelphia deliberated for less than two hours before convicting Arthur L. Farnsworth, a former Libertarian candidate for Congress.

Farnsworth, who testified during the weeklong trial, has espoused his belief that tax payments are voluntary on his Web site, www.arthurfarnsworth.org.

During direct examination by attorney Mark Lane, Farnsworth said he had come to this conclusion after conducting his own intense legal research.

Farnsworth, 43, agreed with the government's estimate that he had grossed about $220,000 in 1998, 1999 and 2000. But he disagreed with the IRS's determination that he owed about $82,000 in taxes for those years.

Farnsworth, appearing confident and combative on the witness stand, testified that he had a good-faith belief that 'compliance is voluntary.'

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ara B. Gershengorn and Amy L. Kurland argued that Farnsworth's motives were rooted in his tax-protester philosophy, not his understanding of the law.



Raid in Pa. led to Snipes tax probe
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - The tax-fraud investigation that led to the indictment of "Blade" star Wesley Snipes began with a raid four years ago in Pennsylvania, an IRS agent testified.

Special Agent James Morris, speaking in court Wednesday, said agents found documents in a man's home in 2002 that led to a nationwide investigation into fraudulent trust funds. Snipes owned one of those trusts, another witness said.

The testimony came in the trial of Arthur Farnsworth, who is accused of tax evasion.

When agents searched Farnsworth's home near Sellersville, they found documents suggesting Farnsworth owned several bogus trusts, Morris said. Among them was one designed to hide money and assets to avoid payment of federal income taxes.

Snipes owned a similar trust, according to testimony by Wayne Rebuck, a former director at the company that sold the trusts. Rebuck said he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy count in return for his testimony against Farnsworth.

Snipes, star of the "Blade" trilogy, "Jungle Fever" and "White Men Can't Jump," was indicted in October on eight counts of tax fraud. He was accused of trying to cheat the government out of nearly $12 million in false refund claims and not filing returns for six years.

The 44-year-old actor has said he is a scapegoat and was unfairly targeted by prosecutors, and has suggested he was taken advantage of.

Farnsworth, 43, who has publicly stated he hasn't paid federal taxes in years, was charged in November 2004 with three counts of income-tax evasion.

His trial in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia was continuing Thursday. Farnsworth's attorneys say the government did not prove its case against their client.

7 comments:

Mark Rauterkus said...

This extra attention with (W.S.) may work against Art in his upcomming sentencing in March, 2007. He is facing 5 years each on the three felony counts of which he was convicted. Others who were convicted in the past were charged with misdmeanor "failure to file" which carry one year per count.

Anonymous said...

lthough I don't have any details about Art's trial, travesties of
justice usually involve some of several misdeed.

1. The prosecution is allowed to introduce evidence that would not
otherwise be allowed. In Art's case, the judge reportedly allowed
evidence that he had previously ruled out.
2. The prosecution is not obligated to follow the judges orders. In
Ken Evan's case, the prosecution was order to provide something yet
never did.
3. The defense is not allowed to introduce essential evidence. In
Irwin Schiff's trial the judge notoriously claimed, something like, the
law is not relevant in his courtroom.
4. The judge delivers instructions to the jury that are outrageously bias.

Again although I'm not an expert on tax trials, these are a few of my
personal observations. Generally the law is very clearly written --
although complicated -- but horribly misrepresented to the public,
misapplied by the government and ignored in the courtroom.

As I said in my original response to Art's conviction, the rule of law
is an illusion in this country. Justice seems to favor the expedience
of the powerful -- government and big corporations.

John S.

Anonymous said...

Art was convicted of violating 26 USC 7201 which reads in part:

"Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax
imposed by this title..."

However, I heard not one mention throughout the entire trial of any section
of law that "imposed" a tax on Art directly or on the activities in which
Art engaged. To the best of my recollection, the prosecution didn't even
mention Section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code, which actually "imposes" the
income tax (on the activites described in the 'operative sections' of
course).

In the judge's instructions he made mention of Section 61 which is the
GENERAL definition of "gross income" and defines it as "all income from
whatever source derived." (see my e-signature below).

The judge also said that the PROSECUTION must have proved beyond a
reasonable doubt that "the defendant was required by law to file a tax
return." But the prosecution only argued that Art received money and then
claimed that said money was "gross income" without ever citing a law that
classified Art's money as "gross income" or described the activites in which
Art engaged as those which give rise to "gross income."

The government was required to prove that Art "was required by law to file a
return," but according to the judge ONLY the judge can say what the law is.
The contradiction is obvious.




---------
The IRS bases the entire income tax fraud on the definition of 'gross
income' which is generally defined as 'all income from whatever source
derived,' language taken directly from the 16th Amendment

The Supreme Court has said....

“'From whatever source derived,' as it is written in the Sixteenth
Amendment, does not mean from whatever source derived.” US Supreme Court,
Wright v. United States, 302 U.S. 583, 607 (1938)

Ken Evans

Please consider becoming a Liberty Associate with NORFED. Learn more by
clicking below:

http://www.libertydollar.org/index.php?REFERER=NRC60219

Anonymous said...

I know this mistake was inadvertant, but in my case, I was the
'prosecution.' The government was the defendant, as it was a civil suit
that I had instituted.



---------
The IRS bases the entire income tax fraud on the definition of 'gross
income' which is generally defined as 'all income from whatever source
derived,' language taken directly from the 16th Amendment

The Supreme Court has said....

“'From whatever source derived,' as it is written in the Sixteenth
Amendment, does not mean from whatever source derived.” US Supreme Court,
Wright v. United States, 302 U.S. 583, 607 (1938)

Ken Evans

Anonymous said...

... snip...

> The judge also said that the PROSECUTION must have proved beyond a
> reasonable doubt that "the defendant was required by law to file a tax
> return." But the prosecution only argued that Art received money and
> then claimed that said money was "gross income" without ever citing a law
> that
> classified Art's money as "gross income" or described the activites in
> which
> Art engaged as those which give rise to "gross income."
>

It is important to recognize that the jury has preconceived notions about
income tax obligations. Although they have never read the law, jury members
have been conditioned for years by credentialed accountants that their
income must be reported and a fraction thereof surrendered to the
government. This works to the government's advantage. Prosecutors just
show the jury that there was income, and that the defendant hasn't filed a
return and hasn't paid their fair share of taxes. Once they have
accomplished that, the jury sees the defendant as un-American, greedy and
evil. With hardly any effort at all, the government has successfully
portrayed the defendant as a villain, and there is no need to produce any
law to support their claims.

After the prosecution rests their case, the defendants must overcome the
jury's perception. The jury is skeptical of the defendant and their
attempts to present interpretations of law, especially when they conflict
with their preconceived notions. After all, the defendant is asking the
jury to abandon the beliefs that have been instilled in them by credentialed
accountants over their entire lives. It takes powerful and convincing
arguments to overcome the jury's skepticism and the subsequent mockery of
those arguments by the prosecution who also has the advantage of getting the
last words in closing arguments.

In the end, these cases are not about a determination of law. They are more
about winning the hearts and minds of a jury. In fact, discussions of law
often confuse the jury. Art's interpretations of law could be one hundred
percent right and he can still lose due to the jury's inability to grasp the
information and material he is presenting to them.

Let me also point out that it is very difficult to get your side of the case
out. Defendants and witnesses are not permitted to give speeches. They can
only provide answers to the questions posed to them by councilors for the
prosecution and defense. They are often limited to simple yes/no answers
and find themselves being scolded by the judge when they try to offer
anything more. Many of these people leave the court feeling that they were
never truly able to present their side of the case.

Once you understand the dynamics of how these trials play out, you begin to
understand how so many innocent people are being convicted of crimes they
never committed. And the problem isn't limited to just tax cases.

It is frightening when we consider the number of people that have been
sentenced to death in this nation that are now being exonerated by DNA
evidence. Obviously, our court system is failing us.

Our justice system was intended to assure that no one was wrongfully
convicted, even if it meant a few guilty people got away. I wonder if we
have forgotten when I witness the deceptive tactics employed by the
prosecution and the courts.

I could write more, but this should give you an idea of the dynamics
involved in these cases.

David Jahn

Anonymous said...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7521758492370018023&q=Theft+by+deception

tax agent said...

The law here is extremely harsh, but it's neccesary. I think there's sometimes too much emphasis on how evidance is obtained rather than it's value in prosecuting the case.