Lessons learned from US v. Snyder
From United States v. Snyder, 1985.C04.40208 <http://www.versuslaw.com> ; 766 F.2d 167 (4th Cir. 1985) I learned the following:
1. At one point early in the decision the 4th Circuit states:
“For each of these years he was notified by an Internal Revenue Service letter that the materials
he had filed were not acceptable as tax returns because they lacked the requisite information.”
The U.S. is going to use stuff they sent you as proof that ‘see, we told him so.’ The lesson learned is that your rebuttal should be in the file right next to that letter so that they can’t use their letter without using your rebuttal.
2. The 4th Circuit states:
“In 1973 the IRS began tax investigation of Snyder for the years 1971 and 1972, but it was
terminated without a recommendation to prosecute although a civil assessment of taxes was
Your criminal prosecution begins with a recommendation from the IRS that you be prosecuted. Avoiding criminal prosecution begins with asking yourself, ‘What do I need to say, or what do I need to do, while dealing with this IRS agent to prevent him/her from recommending that I be prosecuted?’ You will not help your cause by calling the IRS agent names and kicking dirt on his shoe.
3. The 4th Circuit states:
“When he failed to pay the assessment the IRS began collection efforts in 1980, resulting in levies being served on a number of people owing money to Snyder.”
This would cause me to ask myself, ‘How could the IRS learn who owed me money?’
4. The 4th Circuit states:
“By analyzing his net worth, the government determined that Snyder had received substantial income during the periods in question. During these years he purchased airplanes, automobiles, real estate, and silver bullion, and loaned substantial amounts of money. In 1970 he stopped depositing money in banks and began conducting most of his financial transactions in cash or by use of third party checks. In 1975 he bought an airplane for $13,000, of which $5,000 was cash presented in a paper bag. He paid $3200 cash for a pickup truck during the same year and loaned $10,000 in cash to a church home for the aged.
In 1974 he made a $14,000 loan to an attorney, of which $2,000 was in cash and the remainder in third party checks. He advised people who owed him money to pay him in cash.”
The government is going to analyze your net worth. They are going to follow you around and talk to people you buy stuff from and deal with. There is a Supreme Court case on government analysis of net worth called HOLLAND ET UX. v. UNITED STATES, 75 S. Ct. 127, 348 U.S. 121 (U.S. 12/06/1954) you might want to read for additional insights on net worth analysis.
5. The 4th Circuit states:
“Snyder also attempted to conceal his property when the IRS began serving levies upon people who owed him money. On at least five occasions he gave debtors false documents to show the IRS in an effort to conceal his participation in the loans. Snyder advised attorney Toston, to whom he had loaned $14,000, to pay off the balance on the loan because the IRS was about to levy. A levy was served on Toston and he showed it to Snyder. Two days later Toston found a receipt in his mailbox signed by Snyder and indicating that the loan had been paid off. Snyder told Toston that an individual named Duling had paid off Toston's debt, and Snyder gave Toston a note stating that Toston owed Duling $12,000, which was due on the same date as the original note to Snyder. Duling was a tenant in one of Snyder's rental properties and testified that he had not paid off any debt owed by Toston and did not lend Toston any money.”
When it comes to dealing with the IRS you can pretty much count on everybody turning on you and cooperating with the IRS; so plan accordingly. If you give debtors false documents it is going to be used against you if it is found out. Don’t count on anyone to commit perjury for you either.
6. The 4th Circuit states that Snyder testified as follows respecting reliance upon an attorney’s advice:
“Well, I talked to attorneys off and on, different attorneys over the years. And the attorneys say that's correct, the Fifth Amendment is legal to take on your return, but he says what will happen is probably you will be harassed for doing it.
“He later testified that he had talked with an attorney named Stauffer about 1970 and stated: He is from Oakland , yes, I think if I remember I met some attorneys maybe here in Baltimore when we were down here on a couple different occasions. Just recently an attorney come in the office up at the Justice Department. I can't tell you his name. A lot of time these lawyers they know me, but I don't know them, from the news coverage and so, and they will stop and talk a few words and something said about it, and that's the impression that I have gotten from all of them that I have talked to.”
At your trial it is too late to be trying to piece together a reliance on the advice of counsel defense. The 4th Circuit said respecting the testimony above, “These claims are not sufficient to justify a specific charge that Snyder was acting upon advice of counsel…” If you are going to rely on the advice of counsel you better remember his name and be prepared to have him testify as to the advice he gave you.
7. The 4th Circuit states:
A good faith misunderstanding of the law, as distinct from disagreement of the law, is a defense.
If we set up a “good faith misunderstanding of the law” as a defense, maybe we could prevent our prosecutions in the first place.
8. The 4th Circuit states:
“Snyder's accountant, John Devitt, testified that his beginning point for a net worth determination was "within pennies" of that used by the IRS.”
Why do you need your own accountant testifying against you and in agreement with the IRS? Maybe you should get an attorney who is also a CPA to do your accounting so he can keep your records under attorney client privilege and not be subpoenaed on the same basis. Maybe you should get an attorney to hire a CPA to work under him on the same basis.
The 4th Circuit states:
In a letter written to the IRS during the years covered by the prosecution, Snyder stated:
You mention the possibility of charging me with "willful failure to file." "Willful" means "criminal". I have filed. I have filed in a patriotic and constitutional manner, albeit under protest. If you would call my standing up for constitutional liberties "willful" you would call the noble acts of Jefferson, Hancock , Washington , Adams and Patrick Henry you would call all of them willful."
If you write to the IRS start writing with the assumption that what you send them could eventually be used in court. Ask yourself, if this is used in court will it help me or them? Think, what I write here may eventually be read by the jury, what would I like them to know? Think, what I write here may eventually be read in the appellate court, how can I use this to help my cause?
To learn about effective methods of dealing with liens and levies visit www.irslienthumper.com. Bear
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