Yes how dare Jar hope that people convicted of multiple crimes actually be sentenced as the laws allow.Just a monkey in a long line of kings. If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! *not an actual doctor
I'm not sure that I agree. I don't see the point of sending a person who poses no threat to others to jail.Kings were put to death long before 21 January 1793. But regicides of earlier times and their followers were interested in attacking the person, not the principle, of the king. They wanted another king, and that was all. It never occurred to them that the throne could remain empty forever. -- Albert Camus
Surinder Singh Panshi got 16 years, and he plead guilty.
If the amount stolen is in the tens of millions then 20+ year sentences have been handed out. Hovind isn't anywhere near this level so he's unlikely to spend a lot of time in jail.
A more applicable case was Rev. Henry Lyons who was sentenced for 5 and a half years, though he had more than tax evasion under his belt - racketeering was included in that.
Another comparable case looks to be this one where the tax cheat was forced to pay his taxes, a $30,000 fine and do 800 hours of community service. I suspect Hovind will get more than that though.
The closest thing I can find is Minesh Krishnadas Mehta:
quote:A San Francisco parking lot owner was sentenced to 15 months and ordered to pay $340,111 in restitution after evading taxes on more than $900,000 in income.
Minesh Krishnadas Mehta, 44, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion. Mehta admitted that from 1999 to 2000, he operated numerous parking lots in the San Francisco Bay Area that generated a substantial amount of cash receipts. Mehta deposited the cash receipts in amounts less than $10,000, so banks would not notify the IRS. He did this so the IRS would not discover the correct amount of cash receipts his parking lots were earning.
Mehta admitted that he had failed to report on his individual income tax returns a total of $926,304 for the years 1999 and 2000. Mehta also acknowledged that because he failed to report that amount on his income tax returns, he underpaid a total of $358,307 in income tax for those years.
Since Hovind is charged for a similar amount, but with plenty of other indictments to his name as well, I suspect that two years at a minimum and I'd reckon that 3-5 wouldn't be out of the question as a minimum. Of course, IANAL so I could be atrociously wrong with my estimates.
I agree that if Hovind did cheat people, then he must be prevented from continuing to cheat people. However, the Pensacola News Journal article gives the impression that the only things for which he was convicted was cheating on his taxes. I'm not sure that makes him such a danger to society that it warrants sequestering him.
On the other hand, I do see Ned's point; if Hovind is one of those law-and-order, lock-em-up-forever type of Christians, then I do see the poetic justice in his serving a long sentence.
Kings were put to death long before 21 January 1793. But regicides of earlier times and their followers were interested in attacking the person, not the principle, of the king. They wanted another king, and that was all. It never occurred to them that the throne could remain empty forever. -- Albert Camus
Let me try to explain just why I hope they set an example with Hovind.
The charge is he failed to pay employee taxes. This is not just cheating on HIS money, he endangered the welfare and retirement of his employees. Their social security got reduced. Their unemployment taxes didn't get paid. Their retirement funds got redirected.
And he did this out of greed.
In addition, this crook, this conman, is teaching others. He is out there preaching ignorance and lawlessness.
Had he simply stepped up and ponied up to the bar, admitted he was a fraud, offered to make amends, paid the back taxes owed I would have applauded him. But he didn't.
Part of the duty of being a Christian is to try to do what is right, and when you screw up, admit it, try to make amends and try to do better in the future.
Religion is fertile ground for the conman, and Hovind is a conman who just can't help himself. When faced with a choice between an honest course of action and a con, Hovind has trouble resisting the con. Hovind has been conning innocent Christians for years, not just about religion and science, but about law. "Honey, you're not working for me, you're working for God, so you owe no taxes. By the way, you were late yesterday, don't let it happen again or we, I mean God, will dock your pay. Now please get back to work mopping my, I mean God's, floors." His big mistake was trying to con the federal government.
Law without enforcement is ineffective. Law enforcement serves the purpose of achieving compliance through the threats of fines and incarceration. It is the fear of fines and incarceration, along with acompanying social embarrassment, that causes most compliance.
While fear of incarceration serves as a deterent to most people, for some it is insufficient, and so for them there is actual incarceration, punishment through loss of freedom and civil rights.
Incarceration is also a good alternative for those whose tendency is to encourage others to commit crimes, because it removes them contact with society where they can fulfill this tendency.
Hovind deserves incarceration for two reasons. This isn't the first time he was charged with tax fraud, it's the second, and with his attitude about taxes he's undoubtedly had other tax run-ins that haven't come to national attention. His first tax case was for much lesser amounts and so incarceration was probably only a minor threat, but as he has now repeated the crime for much larger amounts it is clear that the mere threat of incarceration is an insufficient deterrent for Hovind.
So the government must go to the next step of actual incarceration in the hope that when he is released Hovind will have changed his perspective on incarceration and view it as an actual deterrent.
Another reason for incarcerating Hovind is that he encourages others to commit tax crimes, so much so that on at least a couple of occasions other organizations issued warnings to not follow Hovind's tax advice because the actions he encouraged were illegal.
So in my opinion Hovind should be incarcerated, so it is only a question of how long. I think 5 years should do it.
I think it might be reasonable for Hovind's wife to receive no jail time at all, but it depends upon who she really is. Hovind is a master conman, and all within his sphere fall under his spell. Is Hovind's wife someone who dearly loves him and believes in him and would do anything this wonderful person doing the Lord's work all around the world says? Or is she as knowing and conniving as Hovind himself? Upon the answers to these questions should rest the decision of whether she serves time in jail. If she is Hovind's victim instead of his accomplice then she should serve no time.
If she is Hovind's victim instead of his accomplice then she should serve no time.
Her opportunity to present that argument, and evidence to support it, was at trial. From the reports I have seen, she made no such argument.
There will likely be something next called a "presentence investigation." This is an opportunity for the court to gather information that might be relevant for sentencing or disposition that might not otherwise have come out at trial. We'll see if anything along those lines comes out, but I'd be surprised. She strikes me as a stand-by-my-man kinda gal.
Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
In this case, if the basis for the Hovinds' claim that they didn't know they had to pay taxes was their belief they are not citizens of the U.S., that they are not persons, that the word "whoever" doesn't apply to them, and the other gigglers mentioned in this thread, well, it's up to the jury to decide whether those ideas are reasonble or not. But if I were a betting man, and I am, I'd be willing to lay long odds that the Hovinds are not going to walk out of that courtroom free people.
It is a defense in such cases to say that you were confused by the complexity of the tax laws. However, it has been decided that this does not cover belief in tax protestor nonsense. If you make your own confusion, you stand responsible for it.
What's so hard about it? Most of the rest of us can do taxes just fine, given that it's certainly one of the most annoying aspects of my life.
If you just have an ordinary income on which you should pay ordinary income tax, then that defense wouldn't float. However, judges have ruled in certain cases that being muddled by the regulations is a defense, if one can show that the regulations are in fact confusing: since this is an argument that there was no mens rea.
This does not, of course, apply to Hovind.
Don't Americans have PAYE (Pay As You Earn)? I have never "done my taxes", my employer's always done it for me.