Evangelist Kent Hovind’s tax trial begins

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Evangelist Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, are trying to convince a federal jury that their money from video and amusement park admission sales belong to God and cannot be taxed. The trial began at United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida on Tuesday October 18, 2006 after twelve jury members and two alternates were selected to decide on the 58 federal courts against Hovind and his wife. The trial was expected to take at least two weeks to complete with the prosecution hoping to rest its case Tuesday, but a defense attorney became ill and the Judge delayed the trial until October 30th.

Hovind is a Young Earth creationist who does many speaking engagements and debates. He also sells videos giving a pro-creationism perspective, which he receives income for. Hovind, who calls himself “Dr. Dino”, received a Ph.D in “Christian education” from the unaccredited correspondence school Patriot Bible University in 1991.

Contents

  • 1 Charges
  • 2 Government witnesses
  • 3 Hovind’s employees
  • 4 Pensacola Christian College
  • 5 IRS and ‘beating the system’
  • 6 Related news
  • 7 Sources

Prosecutor Michelle Heldmeyer said from 1999 to March 2004, the Hovinds took in more than $5 million. Heldmeyer charged Hovind on 12 counts for failing to pay about $470,000 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes for his ministry employees between March 31, 2001, and Jan. 31, 2004. Counts 13 through 57 include Hovind’s wife for making 45 transactions in a little more than a year, sometimes taking out as much as $9,500 at a time. Banks are required to report cash withdrawals that exceed $10,000.

In count 58 against Kent includes filing a frivolous lawsuit against the IRS, demanding damages for criminal trespass, filing an injunction against an IRS agent, making threats against investigators and those cooperating with the investigation, and filing false complaints against the IRS for false arrest, excessive use of force and theft.

In July with his attorney, Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, Hovind stated that he did not recognize the government’s right to try him on tax-fraud charges.

This is not the first time Hovind has found himself in legal trouble. In 2002 he refused to get a $50.00 building permit for his Dinosaur Adventure Land, and after three years of legal battles the court ruled that he get a permit or the building would be razed. The park, which depicts dinosaurs as coexisting with humans in the last 6-4,000 years with the more recent “dinosaurs” being the Loch Ness monster, is reportedly open after Hovind paid for the permit and fines totaling $10,402.64.

More directly, M.C. Powe, an IRS officer who investigates people who have unpaid tax returns or unpaid tax liabilities, testified at Hovind’s current trial on October, 19, 2006 that she first attempted to collect taxes from the Hovinds in 1996. She noted Hovind tried several “bullying tactics” that included suing her at least three times. These resulted in each case being thrown out.

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Beard handled Hovind’s bankruptcy in 1996 testified on Wednesday that in 1996 after Hovind’s vehicles were seized by the IRS, he filed under the Chapter 13 “wage-earner plan,” available only to those who have a regular source of income. However, Hovind wrote that he had no form of income, that he rejected his Social Security number and that his employer was God, Beard testified.

In a 2005 affidavit, the Hovinds argue that Social Security is essentially a “Ponzi scheme.” The Hovinds referred to the United States Government as “the ‘bankrupt’ corporate government” and said they were renouncing their United States citizenship and Social Security numbers to become “a natural citizen of ‘America’ and a natural sojourner.”

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

On Thursday an employee of AmSouth Bank explained that the Currency Transaction Reports requires the bank to report any time a cash amount of $10,000 or more is withdrawn or deposited. This employee noted that various records demonstreated Jo Hovind had made transactions up to $15,000 at a time.

Also on Thursday Hovind’s former neighbor testified regarding Hovind’s purchasing of her Palafox Street home. On the stand she said Hovind paid her $30,000 in cash as part of the $155,000 sale.

In this week’s trial two of Hovind’s workers testified in federal court that they didn’t consider where they worked to be a church. In court Hovind maintains he does not have to pay the taxes because his employees were “volunteers,” “missionaries” or “ministers” and his business was a ministry.

However, Brian Popp, Hovind’s employee for at least eight years, said he considered himself a minister at the time of his employment, but said Hovind’s ministry isn’t a church. Popp also testified that Hovind knew about the bank’s requirement to report transactions over $10,000 and said it was “not safe to carry large sums of cash.”

Further, Popp said Hovind told his workers not to accept mail addressed to “KENT HOVIND” because Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his “all-caps name” and if the mail was accepted, Hovind claimed, it would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation.

Diane P. Cooksey, served as a sales representative for the ministry from January 2003 to June 2005, and said Hovind expected to pay her own taxes. Cooksey said, “He explained what his belief was, right up front in the interview, that I would pay my own taxes.” As told’s worker, she received $10 an hour in a weekly paycheck, punched a time clock, was given 10 paid vacation days a year, and considered herself an employee, not a missionary as a few others called themselves.

The IRS raided Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land in April 2004, after which Hovind required his employees to sign nondisclosure agreements. “I was uncomfortable signing it, I guess, because of not having a full understanding,” Cooksey said.

Rebekah Horton, vice president of the unaccredited Pensacola Christian College, took the stand on the second day of the trial and testified that “We know the Scriptures do not promote (tax evasion)”. “It’s against Scripture teaching.”

Horton was given a videotape in the mid 1990s from a woman who worked for Hovind. The video contained “another evangelist advocating tax evasion,” Horton explained. The woman who gave the tape to Horton claimed Hovind’s philosophy as “You were giving a gift with your work, and they were giving a gift back to you.”

Pensacola Christian College decided to disallow its students from working with Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism and reported Hovind’s scheme to the IRS.

On Friday, attorney David Charles Gibbs testified that Hovind claimed he had no obligation to pay employee income taxes and explained with “a great deal of bravado” how he had “beat the tax system.” Gibbs is an attorney with the Gibbs Law Firm, also is affiliated with the Christian Law Association, a nonprofit organization founded by his father that offers free legal help to churches nationwide in a suburb of St. Petersburg, Florida. Gibbs attended the Marcus Pointe Baptist Church when Hovind was a guest speaker at the church on October 17, 2004. Hovind invited Gibbs and others to Hovind’s home for pizza and soda.

Gibbs testified they talked for many hours, and Hovind “tried to stress to me that he was like the pope and this was like the Vatican.” Also Gibbs explained Hovind also told him he preferred to deal in cash because “dealing with cash there is no way to trace it, so it wasn’t taxable.”

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Later on Friday, Special IRS Agent Scott Schneider took up the remainder of the day and is expected to resume Monday. Schneider told the jury his investigation revealed that Hovind “hadn’t filed tax returns ever, to my knowledge.”

Hovind tried suing the IRS and Schneider several times to avoid providing information required by the IRS. Each filing was thrown out by the judges.

Schneider’s discussed documents seized during the 2004 raid of Hovind’s property. These documents, Schneider explained, indicated Hovind ran his ministry as a business with “meticulous” payroll documents and a time clock employees had to punch in and out.

In the raid cash was found “all over the place.” Ultimately, $42,000 in cash was seized along with half-dozen guns (including a SKS semiautomatic) at the Hovinds’ home.

The Pensacola News Journal noted that “in one memo, Jo Hovind informed her daughter, who works at the park, that her pay would be docked $10 for talking too long on the telephone when she should have been working.”

 

White House press center evacuated after bomb scare

Monday, June 18, 2007

A press room across the street of the White House was evacuated after a bomb sniffing dog had a reaction to a van it was searching. The van was believed to be a transport vehicle for Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert, but some reports also say that it is not known to whom the van belongs.

The evacuated space is where the press gathers before they enter the Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House. It is around the corner from Blair House.

“Police were called, they are on the scene currently attempting to clear the vehicle. The vehicle is part of the delegation that is staying at the Blair House,” said Darrin Blackford, a spokesman for the Secret Service.

Police searched the van using a robot and blocked off streets around the area to vehicle traffic, but at 4:30 p.m. (eastern time), authorities gave the “all-clear” for personnel to be allowed back into the building.

The “suspicious” van was parked in front of Lafayette Park. Other areas near the White House were also evacuated including Pennsylvania Avenue, on which the White House is located, and the Jackson Square Press Center, because “of an abundance of caution.”

Olmert is currently a guest in the Blair House which is located across the street from the White House. Olmert is expected to meet with United States President George W. Bush to discuss the Palestinian government and other issues. It is not known if Olmert was inside the house at the time of the incident.

It is not known why the dog reacted to the van, but nothing was found inside it after the Secret Service searched it.

 

How Are Baby Boomers Changing Dentistry?

Submitted by: Don Georgevich

Today, the Baby Boomer generation accounts for the largest demographic of the patients treated. Advances in pharmaceutical and medical research have kept this group healthier longer than any other time in history. As dentists, we no longer see as many people who need full dentures. The Boomers benefited from water fluoridation and have managed to keep their teeth for most of their adult life. But they not only want to keep their teeth, they also want their teeth to look nice. They invest lots of money for cosmetic treatments, both dental and medical to maintain a youthful appearance.

The dental practice model has changed also. We have moved away from the insurance-driven, drill, fill, and bill concept. We spend more time educating patients about the impact oral health has on the entire body. We now treat periodontal disease with more emphasis because researchers have found periodontal pathogens in arterial plaques. Research also has shown a link between periodontal disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

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Many Baby Boomers grew up having their cavities filled with silver amalgam. In these cases, they had the same tooth filled multiple times over the course of their life. Each time the tooth was prepared for a new filling, more natural tooth structure was removed. Eventually the individual tooth will not be strong enough to retain another filling. Once the silver or the tooth breaks down, the only option for proper restoration is a full crown.

Today, there are alternative treatments using the CEREC machine (a CAD/CAM device used to make ceramic tooth-colored restorations) that replace the anatomy lost to dental caries, silver fillings, and cracks. In many cases, a more conservative restoration is recommended, such as an Onlay. For an onlay, only the defective tooth structure and the decaying silver filling is removed, in order to replace the lost anatomy with a strong, ceramic, tooth-colored restoration.

Unlike silver amalgam, the porcelain used for CEREC restorations expands and contracts at the same rate as natural teeth. This material also mimics tooth enamel. Therefore, CEREC restorations import less internal stress to a tooth and do not unnecessarily wear down an opposing tooth. The patient is provided with a healthy, long term restoration that looks like a natural tooth!

Once the patient has a solid periodontal foundation, the CEREC inlays, onlays, veneers, full crowns, and implant crowns can be made in one office visit. See your Dentist for more information about dental health for Baby Boomers.

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Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Antofagasta, Chile

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Authorities in Chile say at least two people have been killed and more than 100 injured after a powerful earthquake struck in the north, sending terrified residents into the streets and cutting power to some of the country’s copper mines. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 15:40:53 UTC.

Officials said two women were killed Wednesday when their houses in the town of Tocopilla collapsed during the 7.7 magnitude earthquake. They also said another person may have died in a tunnel collapse there, which has trapped some 50 workers.

Government spokesperson Ricardo Lagos said “They will be evacuated by the Navy via the ocean. As far as we know there are no injured or dead [among the workers].”

The USGS said the quake was centered west of the town of Calama. It was felt as far away as the Chilean capital, Santiago, and neighboring Peru and Bolivia.

Television images showed cars crushed under the concrete awning of a hotel in Antofagasta, 170 kilometers south of the epicenter.

The police chief of Arequipa, Hernan Tamayo said, “People ran out into the streets because of how prolonged the quake was. There was a lot of alarm but no material or human damage.”

The quake was followed by six aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 5.7. Additionally, the quake triggered a tsunami warning which was later lifted.

In Tocopilla, 115 people were injured. Mayor Luis Moyano said about 1,200 houses had been flattened. “Today, the people of Tocopilla are going to have to sleep in the streets,” he said in a radio address.

In total, 3,000 homes have been destroyed in Chile, according to the Housing Minister. The government has airlifted hundreds of portable homes to provide shelter.

In August, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Peru, killing about 540 people and injuring more than 1,000 others. The southern port city of Pisco was one of the areas devastated by the powerful quake, which lasted two minutes.


This article is based on Powerful Earthquake Strikes Northern Chile by VOA News which has a copyright policy compatible with our CC-BY 2.5. Specifically “Copyright status of work by the U.S. government

 

Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Plastic surgeon to the stars Dr. Frank Ryan has died in a car accident at age 50. It is reported that the Jeep Ryan was driving crashed over the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and landed on rocks. Lifeguards were first on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to rescue Ryan. It is thought that no other vehicle was involved in the incident.

Dr. Ryan, a celebrity in his own right, performed plastic surgery on several stars including Janice Dickinson, Gene Simmons, Shauna Sand and Adrianne Curry. He appeared on several television shows and became one of the first people to perform plastic surgery on television in 1995.

A representative for Janice Dickinson released a statement about the death of Ryan. She said “Janice is deeply, deeply anguished! She is stunned and wants the world to know what a genius Dr. Ryan was.”

Ryan was traveling with his pet dog at the time of the crash; the dog was found seriously injured in the ocean and was transported to a local veterinarian. Dr. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

United States 2003 National Adult Literacy Survey released

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Preliminary results from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), released 15 December 2005 by the US National Center for Education Statistics, indicate gains and losses in literacy among minority adults between 1992 and 2003.

Contents

  • 1 Understanding the results
  • 2 Selected results
  • 3 Why are the tests carried out?
  • 4 Sources

The nationally representative study among US adults age 16 and older found the over-all average prose and document literacy remained relatively unchanged, but quantitative literacy improved 8 points (on a scale of 500.) Results among minorities were mixed, with White and Asian/Pacific Islander minorities scoring significantly higher than Hispanic or Black ethnicities; Hispanic subjects in particular had sharp decreases in prose and document literacy (-9% and -8%, respectively) and quantitative illiteracy remained unchanged with 50% of subjects scoring at less than basic literacy levels.

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy is the most comprehensive measure of adult literacy in the USA. The 2003 NAAL, with 19 000 participants, was conducted by the Educational Testing Service, a non-governmental organization which charges for its services.

 

Denunciations of Scandals Threaten UN

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Denunciations of corruption, bribe, collection of bribes from refugees [1] and of sexual scandal involving the peacekeepers [2], [3] threaten the Organization of the United Nations (UN).

The gravest denunciations involve the aid project to Iraq, called Oil-for-Food. Grave denunciations of bribe exist, superfluous accounting and collaboration with the ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, against staff of the UN, companies and politicians of several countries. Even the secretary of the UN, Kofi Annan was suspicious of participation in the plan of corruption. And also grave doubts still hover about his son, Kojo Annan.

The gravity of the denunciations threatens not only the credibility of the UN, but its existence.

Secretary Kofi Annan said that he is going to promote reforms in the organization. [4]

Contents

  • 1 The Oil-for-Food Program
  • 2 Reclamações
  • 3 Al-Mada
  • 4 Funcionanento do esquema de corrupção
  • 5 As investigações
    • 5.1 Investigation of Charles Duelfer for the Central Intelligence Agency
      • 5.1.1 Text of the Report by Charles Duelfer
    • 5.2 GAO Investigation
    • 5.3 As investigações do conselho de governo iraquiano
    • 5.4 Investigação das Nações Unidas
  • 6 Last reports so far
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Sources
 

On the campaign trail in the USA, August 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

The following is the fourth edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the vice presidential nominee of the Reform Party is revealed; those attacked in a high profile campaign speech respond; and Wikinews interviews an economist seeking the presidency a second time.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Reform Party vice presidential nominee confirmed
  • 3 Alt-rightists respond to Clinton speech
  • 4 Wikinews interviews economist again running for president
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources
 

Ten April Fool’s pranks of 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police.

Hotels.com ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

 

Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.