Since August, 2003, the government has failed to prove its claims in income tax-related cases to at least three juries. These recent acquittals support claims that government has no authority to tax wages as income and no “law” compels employers to withhold a portion of employees’ wages.
A Memphis federal jury acquitted FedEx airplane pilot Vernice Kuglin of six counts of tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns Friday, August 8, 2003.
Kuglin testified that, since 1995, she had sent numerous letters to the IRS requesting that the federal tax collector inform her as to what law required her to pay the Individual Income Tax. The government did not provide Kuglin or the court with the law requiring Americans to pay income taxes on their wages.
The jury returned “not guilty” verdicts on all counts after a five-day trial.
After the jury had been excused, the U.S. attorney reportedly demanded that the judge order the defendant to file her forms, pay her taxes and obey the law. The judge reportedly replied, “Sir, I don’t work for the IRS.”
Juror Barbara Snodgras of Memphis said the jury did not convict because, “we all felt that the prosecution didn’t prove its case.”
The verdict infers that Tax Truth attorneys Bob Bernhoft and Larry Becraft were able to convince juries that wages are not taxable as income. The verdict also infers that the federal government has been taking advantage of juries’ ignorance of the income tax’s constitutional limitations which do not grant Congress the authority to collect unapportioned direct taxes.
The Orlando Sentinel reported Dec. 11, 2003, that Dr. Lois Somerville, a Florida chiropractor, was acquitted of evading taxes from 1990 through 1998. She had faced five years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.
Before the case was given to the jury for deliberation, Judge Patricia Fawsett entered an order of acquittal. “Essentially, she [Judge Fawcett] felt the government was unable to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Somerville attorney Steven L. Sands.
“The Prohibition Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was repealed in 1933 largely due to juries’ refusal to convict. If we can prove to the American public that wages are not income within the original intent of the 16th Amendment, then juries will no longer convict their countrymen for evading a tax they do not owe,” said Phil Hart, author of Constitutional Income: Do You Have Any?
Dick Simkanin’s two trials
After spending six months in jail awaiting trial, a Texas federal jury hung 11-1 in favor of acquitting New Bedford businessman Dick Simkanin, 59, of willful failure to withhold taxes from his employees’ wages.
The 1st trial
Despite U.S. District Judge John McBryde declaring a mistrial, Simkanin was taken back to jail since the U.S. intended to retry the case.
While deliberating the 27 charges against Simkanin, the jury requested to be provided a copy of the specific IRS Code he is being prosecuted for violating, a copy of the applicable U.S. Code and a copy of the judge’s jury instructions. The jury hung after the judge refused these requests.
The 2nd Trial
Before Simkanin’s second trial, which began January 5, 2004, Judge McBryde granted the government’s motion to choose the jury without the public present and kept the jury completely away from the public before and during trial. Judge McBryde also granted a pre-trial government motion to deny Simkanin the ability to present any of the evidentiary exhibits upon which he relied to form his beliefs about the tax code.
This time the jury found Simkanin guilty of the same 27 charges. “Justice was served, and we’re please that the jury understood that no one is above the law,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis.
No “law” or IRS code demanding an employer withhold taxes was identified in either trial. When Simkanin’s attorney Arch McColl attempted to query government witnesses about the legal definition of “wages,” Texas Star-Telegram reporter Max Baker wrote that Judge McBryde “told the jurors they could not question the constitutionality of the tax code.”
Simkanin supporters claim he is in good spirits. McColl believes his client will prevail on appeal though he is, “...terribly disappointed. It was not a fair trial in accordance with the 6th Amendment of the Constitution that includes the fundamental right to present evidence on your own behalf.”
Whether in the legislature, in the courtroom or in our daily lives, the laws and the rules we live by must be in harmony with each other.
Suppose the parents of a 15-year-old girl prohibit their daughter from smoking cigarettes. The rule is laid down whereby if she is caught smoking cigarettes she is grounded for two weeks.
One day, the girl gets caught smoking and is grounded by dad. Not wanting to miss an important social event, daughter asks mom if she can go. Mom’s a softy and says, “yes,” but dad says, “no.” What’s the problem? The problem is mom and dad are not in “harmony”: They are in conflict.
A cornerstone of American Jurisprudence requires that every law must have authority and, because the law must “make sense,” the law cannot be in conflict with other laws. If the laws of the land were in conflict with one another, what would be the use of having any laws at all? The written words defining the rules applying to all members of a society would be rendered meaningless.
When the word “income” is used properly, an income tax leaves the source of the income undiminished. An income tax is inherently an indirect tax and is subject to the rule of uniformity. The IRS would have us believe that one part of the Constitution says direct taxes must be apportioned and the 16th Amendment says they don’t. If the IRS is right, the Constitution is not in harmony with itself.