Please read the following letter and court case summary of Dr. Kent Hovind and his dear wife, Jo. If you ever doubted there's a Big Brother out there with its Thought Police and Ministry of Love, this evidence should convince you otherwise. Please pray for the Hovinds and our dying U.S. Constitution.
Thank you for your concern and inquiry as to the legal status of Dr. Hovind and of Creation Science Evangelism. At this time, Dr. Hovind is incarcerated and charged with failing to withhold income taxes from those who served at CSE, in spite of the fact that everyone was told that they were responsible for their own taxes.
Dr. Hovind's case is being appealed and updates on Dr. Hovind and this legal battle may be found by visiting: www.cseblogs.com We also have a summary of the case charges that was written by the man who assisted our attorneys. It follows this summary letter. We covet your prayers for Dr. Hovind and the CSE Team as Satan's attack is so evident. God has already demonstrated time and time again that He is more than able to take a challenging situation and use it for His glory.
Dr. Hovind's current location is in South Carolina. His address is:
Kent Hovind #06452-017
Federal Prison Camp Edgefield
PO Box 725
Edgefield, SC 29824
Legally, what happens next? Continue to WAIT. The Hovind's attorneys continue to work on the briefs to file for their appeal. As of August 30, 2007, the court transcripts still have not been released. Appeals cannot be filed without them. Mrs. Hovind has gratefully been granted Release Pending Appeal which allows her to remain home during the appeal process. Dr. Hovind remains incarcerated. Upon receiving court transcripts, a Stay Request for him will be requested from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Although a Stay has been granted for Mrs. Hovind, the Stay on Forfeiture has not been granted.
There are several web sites and petitions that have been formed in an attempt to help Dr. and Mrs. Hovind. The most popular site is www.FreeHovind.com, although there are several others. Should God choose to use one or more of these petitions in expediting the release of Dr. Hovind and the end of this case, we would be very grateful. However, none of them are directly associated with Creation Science Evangelism. At this time we do not know of any need to oppose these petitions, and pray that if it is His will, God will use them as He sees fit.
CSE is currently working with several other charitable organization, tax attorney experts, and a CPA in order to insure a higher standard of fiduciary excellence and accountability. Some changes to CSE's financial and legal structure are being made including using an employee leasing service which withholds taxes to satisfy the IRS; implementing changes to its legal structure; and using a Certified Public Accountant to set up all ministry finances in a manner above reproach. Soon, we hope to have an official auditing done by an outside company and be able to post those results for interested parties. CSE desires to be above reproach in their finances.
We know this is a Spiritual Battle and Satan is mad because of all the people who are being saved through the Creation Seminar. We continue to pray for the Judges, the attorneys, and most of all, that somehow Christ can get glory through CSE and this situation.
Spiritually, what happens next? We must continue to serve God day by day.
We believe that when we pray for a miracle in this case, we are not just praying for selfish reasons. We earnestly believe that the cause of Christ is at stake. We really believe that souls are hanging in the balance. We honestly believe that HIS name and HIS glory are at stake.
The CSE Team continues to focus on the organization's goal—strengthening the faith of believers in God's Word and evangelizing the world with the creation message. Despite the difficult circumstances, CSE continues to receive heart-warming testimonies from those who have trusted Christ, or who have had their faith strengthened as a result of the Creation Seminar.
Looking to an exciting future, the CSE Team desires to produce and distribute creation materials sharing the Good News that people can actually have a personal relationship with their awesome Creator with the many who do not know these truths!
Thank you again, for your sensitivity to the Lord's prompting to inquire and pray for these fellow servants. To those who have continued to support the mission of Creation Science Evangelism with their prayers, encouragement, and finances, we humbly say, "Thank you."
For HIS glory,
The CSE Team
29 Cummings Road
Pensacola, FL 32503
(850) 479-3466 - Phone
(850) 479-8562 - FAX
If you would like to read a synopsis of the charges in this case, the following is an article written largely by the man who assisted Dr. Hovind's attorneys:
This article gives a brief overview of the 58 charges, and only a few of the justice atrocities the Hovinds have experienced. It was largely written by the man who assisted the attorneys with the case. He is a sixteen-year veteran in IRS Criminal Cases. He and both attorneys said that they have never seen so much injustice in one case in their entire careers. Motions of Intention to Appeal have been filed and we are asking God to undertake in our behalf.
Summary of Charges and Some Facts About the Hovind's Case
Counts 1 - 12
Failure to withhold and pay over taxes from people who served at Creation Science Evangelism that the IRS termed "employees." Each "count" is for one quarter of a year over a period of three years.
Everyone who served at CSE was told that they were responsible for their own taxes, as CSE did not have "employees" and was not a withholding agency for the government. As a result, each person who served at CSE had different ways of paying their taxes to the government. Some were independent contractors, some were independent missionaries, some had LLC's, etc.
No notice was ever given to Kent Hovind or to Creation Science Evangelism that the IRS was unhappy with the way taxes were being paid. There are five notices that the IRS is required to give to any organization if they are dissatisfied with a tax situation. NONE were ever given to Hovind or to CSE. When Agent Schneider was asked on the stand during trial, "When was the first time that you ever notified Hovind or CSE that you were unhappy with the way in which people were paying their taxes" Agent Schneider answered that his [Hovind's] indictment [the day of his arrest] WAS his notification!
There are other very large religious organizations who operate the same way as CSE in regards to withholding. There are no "employees", but rather only independent contractors.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law—except when the law is not definite and knowable. When the judge in this case was reminded of the Supreme Court's ruling that ignorance of the law is very important in tax cases, she responded that this did not apply to the case against Kent Hovind. Can you imagine a Federal Judge, governed by the decisions of the Supreme Court, deciding what the Supreme Court said does not matter? The reason why this area was so important was because the Government did not have one shred of evidence that Hovind was "aware of" section "7202" or how the theory of the Government that violated that section was made known to Hovind prior to the dates of the twelve charges in Counts 1 through 12 being alleged to have taken place.
Counts 13 - 57
Writing checks to cash under $10,000.00, and thereby not triggering a CTR report by the bank to the IRS. These transactions were charged as "Structuring" which is against the Bank Secrecy Laws.
This Second series of "counts" involved 45 different charges in which Am South Bank did not file a Currency Transaction Report (hereinafter referred to as "CTR") when Jo Hovind would withdraw an amount less than $10,000.00 by writing one single check, on one single day, at one single bank, out of one account, over which she had signatory authority. The government alleged that this was in violation of Title 31, §§ 5324, 5313(a) and certain treasury regulations that attempt to make it a crime to withdraw "more than"
$10,000.00 in any one day with the purpose of "evading the bank's reporting requirements to the IRS." This is part of the "Bank Secrecy Laws." If you inquired about them at a bank as a customer, you would not be given any information, because they are "secret."
Remember as in the first twelve counts, that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law—except when the law is not definite and knowable? This is a huge hurdle for the prosecutor to prove; that while Jo Hovind wrote checks to cash for the ministry for nine years she knew all the statutes, regulations, and theories of the bank secrecy laws and deliberately choose to violate those bank secrecy laws—laws written originally to track drug dealer's monies!
The bank never told Jo Hovind that even though a CTR is triggered when transactions involve more than $10,000.00, that somehow she was violating this law by withdrawing less than $10,000.00 numerous times. That is because she was not violating any law! The form that the bank was to fill out on amounts over $10,000.00 is Form 4789, commonly known as the CTR form.
The most important error was that at all times the regulation says "more than $10,000.00" while the Government's theory only proved "less than $10,000.00." When the IRS Agents were asked why they thought $9500.00 was a violation and $7800.00 was not a violation, they responded "$9500.00 seemed more egregious" demonstrating how ridiculous these charges are. Under this theory, the prosecution is saying that ANY amount that anyone withdraws from their own bank account can be construed as illegal by the government.
Secondly, both the Supreme Court and the Appellate Courts have upheld that by definition, acts of structuring must involve at least TWO transactions or more to support a charge for the offense. This is clearly demonstrated in the Supreme Court case in Ratzlaf in which the definition of structuring offered is: "to break up a single transaction above the reporting threshold into two or more separate transactions." Ratzlaf, 510 U.S. at 136.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld that structuring required at least two transactions to support a crime. All of the "crimes" allegedly committed by the Hovinds, involve only ONE check. ONE transaction! Not TWO or more transactions. No crime was ever committed here.
There were many other defects in the Government's theory on these counts not addressed here, one of which included violations of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 in reference to this "bootleg" CTR form.
That Kent Hovind impeded the IRS and threatened them with bodily harm.
The theory advanced by the Government here is simply alarming. Our first amendment right gives us the right to redress the government when we feel it is in error. In another matter, the Government sent a copy of a civil summons to Hovind which informed him he had a right to challenge the issuance of the summons in Federal Court. Hovind exercised that option to see whether it was properly issued or not and now in this case, Government alleges that this perfectly legal challenge "impeded" them criminally in violation of section 7212(a)! Yet, Hovind's action was always lawfully and peacefully done.
Finally, on a radio show, Hovind asked listeners to pray for all those who were coming against him and the cause of Christ. "Special Agent/Military Interrogation Specialist/IRS Criminal Investigator Agent Scott Schneider" told the jury he felt threatened by Kent Hovind's prayer!
How could anyone think that praying anything violates a Federal law? What happened to freedom of speech? What about asking the Court to oversee the IRS conduct? Isn't that within the first amendment right to redress the government? What happened to due process?
On July 11, 2006, a Secret Federal Grand Jury convened and issued the 58 Count indictment against Kent and Jo Hovind. The Judge then issued a warrant for their arrest. Rather than simply calling the Hovinds and asking that they report in to the authorities based on the warrant, as is frequently done in these types of cases, the IRS decided to make another "high profile raid" on the ministry.
Kent was getting ready for staff devotions when the IRS Agents swarmed onto the property and arrested him. Jo was awakened by four armed agents surrounding her bed. She was handcuffed in her nightgown and not allowed to get dressed, go to the bathroom, or put on a robe, even though she was asking for these simple courtesies, and forced to go to the Federal Building.
At the trial in late October 2006, many things seemed unfair and some even unlawful. A few of these would be the following. First of all, there is a rule that those on the witness list are not allowed to be in the court room during the trial. Yet the prosecution's two main witnesses, Agent Schneider and Agent Evans, were not only allowed to be in the room for the entire trial, but were allowed to actually assist the US Attorney. It was easy for them to listen to the testimonies of others, then say whatever they needed to say to make the situation look bad for the Hovinds.
Presenting half truths, or answering "I don't recall" were the answers that the agents often gave. One morning alone, in a thirty minute questioning of Agent Schneider by Defense Attorney Barringer, he replied "I don't recall," fourteen times. For the next forty minutes, he was questioned by US Prosecutor Michelle Heldmeyer and was able to recall everything!
After the Government rested, both Kent and Jo's attorneys were confident that the Government had not proven their case, and it was their advice that putting on a defense was not needed. Therefore, the Defense rested.
The Jury instructions were complete as Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure mandate. In this rule, the Court "must" decide the jury instructions prior to closing arguments.
The Government's closing argument began and ended. Counsel for Kent Hovind, Alan Richey, began his closing argument by reading to the jury a portion of the Government's proposed jury instructions which the Judge would be giving to the Jury herself shortly. During his reading of this instruction, the Government stood up and objected. A side meeting was held with Mr. Richey (Defense Attorney), Mrs. Heldmyer (Prosecuting Attorney) and Judge Rodgers, which resulted in Prosecutor Heldmyer claiming she did not like the way Mr. Richey was reading the jury instruction. This was even though Mr. Richey was reading it verbatum! The Court overruled the objection and allowed Mr. Richey to continue his closing. After Mr. Richey concluded, the Court dismissed the Jury and took an extended break.
The Court returned with a surprise. Judge Rodgers rewrote the jury instruction to change "more than $10,000.00" to "less than $10,000.00" to fit the Government's closing argument!! It was double talk. This changed the indictment, rewrote the treasury regulation and changed the entire claims against the Hovinds. Judge Rodgers asked Prosecutor Heldmyer "are these changes worth a risk of a mistrial" to which Prosecutor Heldmyer responded "absolutely, your honor."
There can only be one explanation for the Government's answer. Without the changes, the jury would find the Defendants—"Not Guilty." And for good reason. They are not guilty of violating any laws or regulations of which they were aware.
1. The Government ignored the Supreme Court of the United States with regard to showing Kent Hovind was aware of section 7202 or 7212(a) or the theory in which these sections were violated.
2. The Government ignored that withdrawing less than $10,000.00 in one day from an account over which you have signatory authority could never act as evidence to prove a criminal violation of a structuring regulation.
3. Lawfully redressing the government is not only not illegal, it is guarenteed in the Constitutional as an American's right. And praying for someone breaks no law in a country which was founded on religious freedom.
This battle is not just a tax battle. Too many things in this case involve severe disregard of the law by the prosecution's side and issues of religious freedom in America. It is a battle over the message of Creation Science Evangelism and over its servant's liberty to proclaim it. The message of CSE has always been that God created the world and He alone is the Savior for mankind.
Hovind's motives have never been about money and greed. What other organization that you know about, Christian or not, does not copyright their material, and freely lets people copy their materials? Hovind's motivation for becoming a 508 (c) (1) (a) organization rather than a 501 (c) (3) organization were not fiduciary interests. For example, 508 does not enjoy the benefit of not paying sales tax as the 501. All 508 organizations must pay sales tax on all purchases. Therefore, CSE has always paid sales tax on everything.
The motivation for being 508 was to avoid government control over what was preached. All 501 (c)(3) organizations are subject to the control of the IRS over what they can and cannot preach. Although at the present time, the government has used this power in limited ways, they do have ultimate say in what "propaganda" an organization can speak and teach. The 508 organizations do not enjoy all the tax benefits of 501, but they also do not have the same government control over what is preached. This was Hovind's motivation for being a 508 (c)(1) organization—to remain free to preach the gospel, rather than becoming a "state licensed religion."
Before you judge these two servants of God, you may want to make yourself a little more aware of the facts. Proverbs 18:13 "He that answereth a matter before he hearth it, it is folly and shame unto him."
A longer version of this article is found on www.penaltyprotestor.com (Click on "Hovind Case" in the lower right corner) as well as audio tapes on the same web page from Conference Calls that have been done explaining some of the injustice suffered by the Hovinds.
Sentencing for Kent was January 19th. It too reflected many injustices, including the Judge raising the sentence from probation to 10 years based solely on things the prosecution brought forward at sentencing. Things that were NOT presented to the jury. According to the California Supreme Court rulings and the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, this can not be done.
A Judge cannot increase a sentence based on things that the jury did not hear or deliberate on. The sentence will be appealed at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals; however, an appeal sometimes takes years.
It is NOT the goal of CSE to focus on political revolution. As the New World Order marches forward, and religious liberty in America becomes more difficult to sustain, it is even more critical that Christians focus on reaching others for Christ. We respectfully request that you continue praying for the Hovinds and the Creation Science Evangelism Team as they endeavor to fulfill CSE's mission and goal—to take the Creator's message to the world!
L Springer, Assistant to Dr. Hovind's Attorney and The CSE Team