Hovind's 11th Circuit Court Appeal Denied

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On Monday July 2, 2007 Kent Hovind's appeal was denied by Eleventh Circuit Court. Hovind filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals claiming he was prevented from challenging the amount of his tax liability. According to the Pensacola News Journal, "the three-judge panel ruled that Hovind failed to raise the issue at the right time, so he waived his rights to contest his tax liability."

On July 7, 2006 in Kent Hovind v Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service (Docket number 011894-05L) the United States Tax Court found that Hovind was deficient in paying his federal income taxes in tax years 1995-97 in the amount of $504,957.24. The Tax Court ruled that the IRS had a valid, perfected lien on Hovind's property in that amount. In the Memorandum Opinion the judge noted that Hovind's defense was based on "bizarre arguments" and "some of which constitute tax protester arguments involving excise taxes and the alleged '100% voluntary' nature of the income tax."

In the November 2006 case Kent was convicted of 58 counts while Jo Hovind, his wife, was convicted of 44 counts, and both decided not to present a defense at trial. In January Hovind was sentenced to ten years plus fines and probation, and last Friday June 29, 2007, Jo Hovind was sentence to one year and one day plus probation and fines.

Though the couple were indicted on the November charges last summer in July 2006, they had a long history of tax protesting, filing false bankruptcy claims, filing frivolous lawsuits, and running the Creation Science Evangelism Ministry (CSE) without proper licensing. In court the IRS noted Kent Hovind had never filed any income taxes with the agency.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, in court last Friday Eric Hovind, the couple's son, said of his mother "She did what she was told" and she was "a submissive wife." Jo spoke to the court saying, "I had no intention of evading the IRS." She continued, "I really did not have a leadership role in CSE" and finished "I would never knowingly do anything illegal." But the prosecutor said Jo Hovind's statement contradicted the evidence. "I do not believe she's being truthful to the court," the prosecutor told the judge.

At the hearing the judge explained that while "Mr. Hovind was the decision-making authority" at CSE and Dinosaur Adventure Land in four years Jo Hovind cashed some 200 checks, all under $10,000, for a total of $1.5 million. The judge further noted, the frequent use of cash was "their attempt to keep the ministry under the radar screen of the IRS" and not provide a traceable record. In the end the judge concluded, "Mrs. Hovind was in charge of the payroll," when handing down the sentence.

The judge said a sentence must be handed down so that it will "promote respect for the law" and deter others who might be tempted to break the law. Jo Hovind received a year and a day in prison, followed by three years probation upon release, and ordered her to pay $8,000 in fines and costs. Kent Hovind received ten years, followed by three years probation upon release, and ordered to pay over $600,000.

The Pensacola News Journal further added, "the government also has taken 10 properties from the Hovinds" for money owed.

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