Hovind Trial Update

Two more stories in the Pensacola News Journal about Kent Hovind’s tax evasion trial:

Christian College leader says taxes are part of religion

Hovind argues God’s workers are exempt

and

Lawyer: Hovind detailed actions

Evangelist said he ‘beat the system’

On Thursday, a vice president of Pensacola Christian College, itself a bastion of right-wing religious nutjobbery where students aren’t allowed to listen to ungodly music, touch each other, or go off campus without a chaperone, testified that Hovind is too wacky even for them.

The video featured another evangelist advocating tax evasion, Horton said. The woman told Horton of Hovind’s philosophy on paying his employees.

“She said, ‘You were giving a gift with your work, and they were giving a gift back to you,’ ” Horton said.

Somehow, I doubt the judge will buy that argument. But just in case you thought she might, there’s this bit from Friday’s testimony:

U.S. Assistant Attorney Michelle Heldmyer presented evidence that showed Hovind and his wife kept meticulous payroll records and required workers to punch a time clock like many business employees.

Evidence presented included employee applications, vacation schedules and memos chiding staff for showing up late to work.

In one memo, Jo Hovind informed her daughter, who works at the park, that her pay would be docked $10 for talking too long on the telephone when she should have been working.

At any rate, what did Horton do?

Pensacola Christian College then decided its students no longer were permitted to work with Creation Science Evangelism, Horton said.

Some of you who are working or have worked in college may be wondering about that “permitted” business. Well, to quote from the PCC Student Handbook, 2001-2001 (found at pensacolachristiancollege.com, a site that exposes PCC’s practices):

Students may not work on Sundays and may not
obtain employment in any establishment where they
would need to handle alcoholic beverages.

Town students and resident men must obtain the
approval of the Student Life Office before accepting
off-campus employment. Resident women must be 25
years of age before being permitted to work off
campus.

[…]

Students may not work on Sunday and may not work
in any establishment where they must handle alcoholic
beverages. Women may not accept positions which
require them to wear slacks.

What does it say when Hovind is too far out even for these people?

—–

On Friday,
there was the testimony of a local resident:

Gibbs said Hovind tried to persuade him he had no obligation to pay employee income taxes and explained with “a great deal of bravado” how he had “beat the tax system.”

Gibbs said Hovind also told him he preferred to deal in cash and that when you are “dealing with cash there is not way to trace it, so it wasn’t taxable.”

I understand that the FBI has noted that a lot of brilliant crimes would go unsolved if the perpetrators had the good sense not to brag about them. Not that I’m saying Hovind is brilliant (though the fact that he pulls down nearly a million a year earns a certain grudging admiration), I’m just saying he shouldn’t have bragged.

Next up was Special IRS Agent Scott Schneider:

Schneider said his investigation revealed that Hovind “hadn’t filed tax returns ever, to my knowledge.”

All in all, things don’t look too good for the Hovinds right now. Granted, there’s still a ways to go, and the defense hasn’t started yet, but if the opening statements are anything to go by, I’m not expecting any twists and reversals. But stick around anyway, since it’s likely we’ll get to hear some of Hovind’s wacky conspiracy theories.

Update, Apr. 25, 2017: As seen on Lies of the Devil.

 

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