- I've been gone awhile and see that I've got some catching up to do.
From a last-in, first out perspective, I noticed the article
following my name below concerning the conviction of Simkanin.
Fort Worth Star Telegram
January 8, 2004
Man guilty of 29 tax violations
By Max B. Baker
FORT WORTH - After deliberating for more than 13 hours over two days,
a federal jury Wednesday convicted Bedford businessman and tax
protester Richard Simkanin on 29 counts of violating U.S. income tax
The jury of six men and six women delivered its verdict shortly after
8 p.m. They remained deadlocked on two counts within the indictment,
leading U.S. District Judge John McBryde to declare a mistrial on
Robert Schulz, founder of We the People Foundation for Constitutional
Education, a group that questions the validity of the nation's tax
laws, told Simkanin's supporters that the defendant was prepared for
"His spirits are fine. His faith is strong," Schulz said.
Simkanin is almost considered to be a political prisoner by groups
that question the validity of the nation's tax laws. They contend
that most Americans are not required to pay income taxes.
They are particularly hostile toward the Internal Revenue Service, an
agency that, they say, is not an official government entity.
Simkanin's supporters came from around the country. They held a vigil
at the courthouse, at one time praying in the hallway. They often
gave him a thumbs-up gesture as he entered the courtroom. Once,
Simkanin got a standing ovation.
During the trial, Simkanin testified that he didn't withhold
employees' taxes for Medicare and Social Security benefits because
his research did not produce a law showing that participation in the
programs was mandatory.
But Simkanin backed away from some of his anti-government comments,
saying they were a mistake. He once wrote to the U.S. Treasury
secretary saying that he had repatriated himself from the United
States to the "Republic of Texas."
When McColl tried to query witnesses on legal definitions
of "employee" and "wages," McBryde cut him off. The judge told jurors
they could not question the constitutionality of the tax code.
Prosecutors put 11 witnesses on the stand to show that Simkanin knew
what he was doing when he stopped withholding and paying taxes. Under
federal tax laws, ignorance of tax codes can be used as a legal
Simkanin was convicted on 10 felony counts of failing to withhold
about $139,000 in taxes from employees' wages and 15 felony counts of
filing false tax refund claims for about $235,000.
He also was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of not filing
individual income tax returns from 1998 to 2001. Simkanin had an
estimated gross income of about $410,000 during those years,
according to the indictment.
Dottie Harrison, a Simkanin supporter from Houston, said his allies
will continue to fight.
"I'm in shock, but the determined energy everyone feels to overturn
this injustice will be a catalyst that will expose the entire IRS
fraud," she said.