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April 18, 2004

A tradition, or an old charter, or something

by Feòrag

United States: A leading creationist's home and businesses have been raided by the Internal Revenue Service on suspicion of tax evasion relating to over $1 million (US) of income. Kent Hovind travels around the world lecturing against evolution, insisting that the universe is all the work of his, apparently incompetent, imaginary friend. He also operates a creationist theme park, and sells books and videos relating to his beliefs.

But in a sworn statement made to obtain the search warrant served Wednesday, IRS agent Scott Schneider said none of Hovind's enterprises has a business license in Escambia County or has tax-exempt status as a nonprofit enterprise.

Since 1997, Hovind has engaged in financial transactions indicating sources of income and has made deposits to bank accounts well in excess of $1 million per year during some of these years, which would require the filing of federal income taxes, wrote Schneider.

The statement is based on financial records plucked from Hovind's garbage from July 2002 through March 2004, statements from a former employee, Internet research and public records.

Hovind insists he is being singled out for his religion and, even though he tries to present his beliefs as science, has claims that his businesses are, in fact, a church. He also faces three charges relating to his refusal to obtain planning permission before building structures on his property. Why am I reminided of Jim Bakker? IRS raids business, home of creationist - Pensacola News Journal, 17th April 2004 (via Christploitation).

Update: P.Z. Myers has provided some interesting background material. It seems he's been in trouble with the tax authorities before, as these extracts from a court decision explain:

In his schedules and statement of affairs, the debtor represents that he is an evangelist employed by God and that he receives no income, has no expenses, owns absolutely no property, and has no creditors except for the IRS with a claim of $10,602.31...

...The evidence presented at the hearing paints a clear portrait of a tax protester whose sole purpose in seeking relief under chapter 13 was to obtain the release of property seized by the IRS... The IRS records reflect that notwithstanding his earning of income during the years in question, the debtor has failed to file any federal income tax returns for those tax years for which the IRS has filed its proof of claim. Furthermore, the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return.

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Posted in Hypocrisy at 15:10. Last modified on September 30 2006 at 11:27.
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1: Posted by: Tez Burke | April 21, 2007 12:30 AM

Dr. Dino's appeal against his conviction for tax fraud was thrown out today, and the 10-stretch he was handed in January 2007 stands.

Wax lyrical

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