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Monday, December 23, 2013
WND Tries to Whitewash Tax Crimes of Creationist Pastor
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily just loves to whitewash and minimize the crimes of its favorite right-wing icons. The latest attempt comes in an unbylined Dec. 17 WND article.

The article touts a proposal that would reduce the sentences of "first-offense, nonviolent federal offenders who exhibit good behavior." The article features one possible beneficiary of the law, creationist pastorKent Hovind, who is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for various tax offenses.

But try as it might, even WND can't quote pull off the full whitewash job on Hovind, which involves trying to explain away 12 tax offenses, one count of obstructing federal agents and 45 counts of structuring cash transactions to avoid scrutiny under money-laundering laws:

His son, Eric Hovind, who now directs a new ministry in Pensacola with the same mission of his father’s Creation Science Evangelism, contends the government completely misrepresented his parents in the trial, portraying them as anti-government radicals. His mother, Jo, the ministry’s bookkeeper, served one year in prison.

While Kent Hovind has made statements over the course of his ministry that challenge the authority of the federal government to collect income taxes, he insists he has not broken any laws.

“I’ve never been anti-tax or a tax protester,” he told WND. “I have always said that everyone should obey the law, including the government. I have always paid every tax I owe.”

[...]

As WND reported in 2009, Hovind argues he took a vow of poverty as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, therefore, owns nothing and receives no income. All of his needs are taken care of by the ministry, he insists.

He says he understood that as a registered 508 non-profit organization, he was not required to withhold taxes, leaving IRS obligations with each worker. In November 2006, however, Hovind was convicted of failing to collect and pay $470,000 in withholding taxes, obstructing tax laws, structuring transactions totaling $430,500 to avoid financial reporting laws, filing a frivolous lawsuit against the IRS, filing an injunction against an IRS agent and threatening investigators and others who cooperated with the investigation.

WND doesn't quite come clean, though. As Forbes reports: "Although Hovind states that he has paid all taxes that he owes, I have never seen him explicitly state that he actually filed returns for the years 1998 through 2006, which were the years that were the subject of the Tax Court decision. It is pretty challenging for an American to be earning enough for any sort of reasonable lifestyle without triggering a return filing obligation."

The article also refers to "Paul J. Hansen of Omaha, Neb." as "an attorney advising Hovind." In fact, Hansen is not an attorney -- he's an activist in the "sovereign citizen" movement who contends he does not have to follow the laws of government if he doesn't want to.

And that exposes WND's big omission: Hovind is affiliated with the "sovereign citizen" movement as well.

Whenever WND does a profile like this, it's almost always trying to hide something. That's the case here.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 PM EST

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