Irwin Schiff Trial - UpdateFrom Irwin Schiff
Our government's ability to incarcerate innocent people is evidenced by the number of those being exonerated, most often through DNA evidence. These wrongful convictions evidence our judicial system's failure. Trial Logs is currently covering the government's prosecution of those who question the application of the income tax laws. It is our hope that this coverage will help us understand the failings of our justice system and help those struggling to comprehend this nation's income tax laws.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
From Arthur Farnsworth:
I finally finished the first draft of my Federal Income Tax Primer. It's up on the Web site, of course, ready for viewing. It is the result of my latest effort to make it as easy as possible for the average American to figure out whether or not he or she is required by law to pay the federal income tax. Of course, we're not, but I want you to discover for yourself, without burying your nose in the law books for a long period of time. The premise is this: all you get each year is the Form 1040 Instruction Booklet, and you want to know from that single publication what your legal obligation is. The answer lies therein, but that's all I will say for now.
Check out the primer here.
The trial is still set for Monday, December 12, in Philadelphia. I have to go down there next week to review the voluminous information that the government came back with in response to our request. Irwin Schiff was convicted in what turned out to be a star chamber court, and Larken's wife Tessa Rose was today found guilty. Keep Dr. Dean and myself in your prayers, as we're the next two to get put through the federal mafia's ringer.
Freedom Law School Weekly Conference Call (Segment 3)
Freedom Law School Weekly Conference Call (Segment 2)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Freedom Law School Weekly Conference Call (Segment 1)
Tessa Rose Trial, Day 3, Wednesday, November 9, 2005
HI from Philadelphia,
It hurts to tell you that at 2:15 PM the jury read the guilty verdict on all counts. Approximately 90 minutes of deliberation including their lunch which the court had brought in for them.
At 9 AM there were nine of us there which grew to 20 before noon. The first half hour was just discussion between the Judge and attorneys concerning his charge to the jury.
The first witness was Mrs. Odhner, Tessa's Aunt- retired school principal where Tessa attended school. She was asked her opinion of Tessa's character. Said she would trust her with her life. Government asked her if she ever talked to Tessa about income taxes and she said no.
Next was Peter Mergen. He knows Tessa from church for more ten years. His opinion of her character was she is very honest, a very principled person. She had told him that once you know people are defrauded you must be willing to burn your own soul to let them know. Gov't asked him about one time filing zero returns and did he learn this from her and he said he came to his understanding of this on his own. And then he now has filed and paid. Redirect Ms Brotman he said his reason for filing and paying was because of fear of retribution from the IRS.
Next was Judith Merrell. She has known Tessa from childhood, got married a week apart. Her opinion of her was honest, integrity and honor. Not motivated by greed. Gov't did you talk to her about taxes and does she have a mission to destroy the IRS. She answered yes. Ms Brotman then asked was she out to destroy the IRS because of her belief? And the Judge sustained it.
Next Oliver Odhner, Tessa's 79 year old uncle. Her character very trustworthy, believes in the truth, the common good, honest. Gov't asked if they ever talked about taxes and collapsing the IRS. Answer No.
Next Rachael Odhner, Aunt. Her opinion of character Very honest, very reliable, never questioned her honesty.
Next Michelle Moreysynnesvedt: known her 7 years-swapped baby sitting, home schooled together. Her opinion was very reliable and honest, genuine. Shown pictures of their house and they accurately described their home of the past 7 years. Gov't asked if they ever talked about taxes or a mission to collapse the IRS and she answered no.
This completed the defense case.
Then the closing arguments of both sides, the judges charge to the jury and the jury went to deliberate at 12:20. The judge spent a few minutes with the attorneys and we went to lunch at a nearby Subway with Larken's parents. Larken, Tessa and friends and relatives ate at the courthouse cafeteria. We all came back from lunch and were hanging together in the courthouse lobby deciding what we were going to do. At 1:55 PM we were told the jury had reached a verdict so we headed up to the courtroom. There were 16 government employees besides the attorneys. Of course downstairs is an IRS office so it is convenient for them to come in. We were concerned that the verdict was so quick. Before leaving we said goodbye to everyone and gave Tessa a big hug. She seems to be holding up well.
Ms Brotman has until December 22 to file her motion for the Rule 29 where the judge will have the right to overturn the verdict. Sentencing is set for February 15, 2006.
We are packing to go ahead and get a flight out tonight, so must go for now.
Tessa Rose Trial Update from Peter McCandless announcing verdict.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Tessa Rose Trial, Day 2, Tuesday,November 8, 2005
HI from Philadelphia,
The correct spelling of Tessa's lead attorney's name is Ellen Brotman. We noticed that Tessa, Ms Brotman and the co-counsel are red heads(just a coincidence I'm sure). Also, there is a consensus of us that Ms Brotman is doing an excellent job. Her manner brought to mind Columbo and I am not sure if this is truly her personality or method acting. She handles herself in a powerful way with being nice, polite, clever, innocent and yet stands her ground with both the judge and Ms. Davis and Mr. Miller.
Their daughter is 8 years old instead of 6 as I said yesterday. Tessa is staying in town each night to make sure she is on time. There has been a strike affecting transportation here. Larken goes home to be with their daughter. Peter McCandless, Associate professor in mathmatics from Missouri, came in last night for the trial. There were two others there all day and some witnesses and their spouses were able to stay so we had a few more there today.
We began at 9 AM with an exchange without the jury present. One of the jurors was late, so the attorneys and the judge were discussing admissibility of evidence along with other things. Judge Baylson said that just because Tessa signed a power of attorney, it doesn't lessen the governments burden of proof. That it was the governments burden that Mrs. Rose acted intentionally and willfully.
At 9:30 AM the jury was brought in and continued with Ms. Spaulding's testimony. It was a repeat of yesterday and Larken's when she was a witness then.
The next witness was Beth Morey a typist for Tessa. Her testimony was about receiving a 1099 in 1997 and then the following years did not receive that, but cross examining brought out she was given the same totals, year-to-date on a different form.
Next was Charlie Judge, IRS Revenue Agent Manager with them 32 years. He is the agent, who testified in Larken's trial, that Larken invited he and his wife to dinner to discuss his findings on the 861 issue. He went to his boss and they decided it might be an attempt at bribing him so they had him wear a wire and record the evening conversation. Again a repeat from Larken's trial.
Next witness was Melvin A. Smith, CPA. He was Tessa's Father's accountant who handled his returns and a trust that was set up for the family. Her Father had a heart attack in 1992 and he became a quadriplegic after a faulty medical procedure. He had talked to Tessa about filing taxes.
Next, CID Agent Pearlman who also testified at Larken's trial. Again a repeat.
Next Cole Hankins, a mason, who dated Tessa when they were 15 years old. He had not seen her in years and went online to a classmate ad and wrote Tessa. She wrote back once(letter came from their confiscated computer) and told him about Larken and their dealings with the IRS. Didn't seem to make sense to bring this in.
The government rests it's case.
Ms. Brotman asked the judge for Rule 29. It was discussed for 20 minutes, but he was not willing to decide.
The first defense witness was Landers Kain Symmestvedt, occupation home inspector. He and his wife have been friends of Tessa and Larken for 7 or 8 years. He is a member of the same church as Tessa and it is called a Swedenborg church. I had never heard of it before so cannot comment on it. He was asked if he thought her to be greedy. He knew her to be honest, not greedy living in a modest home with modest furnishings.
Second witness was Mrs. Fazio a Medical transcriber and Tessa's oldest friend. Their friendship began at age 5 and they went through the first 12 years of school together. They were apart during college, but their friendship was rekindled when they married and had children. When asked about Tessa's character she said she had nothing but admiration for her integrity and honesty. That Tessa was impeccably honest.
Next witness was Allen Joseph David, Tessa's brother. She is his oldest sister. He is a maintenance man for a Swedenborg church. He told of their Father's situation and the 24/7 care required and shared by the children. He said Tessa was quite honest and not a greed motivated person.
On cross he was asked if he was here to help his sister and of course he said yes. On redirect Ms Brotman asked him, would you lie under oath for your sister? Of course he said no.
The defense had no more witnesses that were present so the judge pressed for a decision whether Tessa would testify and we were given a ten minute break for that decision. When they came back in it was decided against her testifying so the judge let the jury go home early, 3:45 PM. Tomorrow there will be two more defense witnesses, then closing arguments and probably go to the jury in the afternoon.
The next 45 minutes were spent discussing the judge's charges that will be given to the jury.
The jury is more mature than Larken had and seem to be paying close attention.
We all, including Larken's parents are amazed at how well Tessa is holding up to all this. I think all of your prayers are helping her, so please keep it up.
Folks, Tessa Rose can use some support. If you are in the area, please consider stopping by the trial in the federal courthouse in downtown Philadelphia (601 Market Street):
Here is a report we recieved on day one.
Tessa Rose Trial, Day 1, Monday,November 7, 2005
Hi from Philadelphia,
I'll forewarn you to not have high expectations since I am reporting this on my own. It won't have the depth you had from Joe and Larken's trials because they had multiple input. I realize that something is better than nothing so I will do my best.
We arrived at the courtroom at 11:30 AM. We went inside to find everything quiet. It all started at 9:30 AM so they had gone through the 35 members of the jury pool making their selections. Within ten minutes of our arrival the selection was made. 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Scanning the jury pool it was surprising to see only 3 who appeared to be in their 20s and everyone else was older. When the selection was announced there were 3 men and 9 women selected.
We knew that the request was made to not come and fill the courtroom as had been the request for Larken, so we were a little unsure if it was the right thing to do in coming. The break for lunch we hugged Tessa and she told us she had arrived first this morning and felt so alone. Then the IRS attorneys came and she was still alone. We knew then we had made the right decision to come. Besides Larken, his parents there were only two others beside Marlene and I. Ken Franks, from about an hour from here, and Jim Parrish from Maryland. Jim wanted to stay over, but something big is going on here and all nearby hotels are booked. He went home, but will come back later in the week.
Tessa's attorneys are women. Her lead attorney is Ellen Brockman(?) and co-counsel is Ms Durbin. The IRS has Mr Miller again and his co-counsel is Ms Davis.
Opening statement by Ms Davis was similar to Larken's. The one thing said that stood out was that Tessa had done this because of greed, to improve her financial situation and to reduce the stress in her life. We all know that taking on the IRS to reduce stress in our lives is so far out and hopefully the jury will agree.
The routine was nearly identical to Larken's beginning with Mary Soma, IRS Custodian of Records for 32 years..
Then it was Barbara Thompson who verified that the Medical group that she worked for paid Tessa for doing their medical transcriptions.
Next was Cheryl Bray from Chase Home Finance. She was questioned and verified the Rose's home mortgage and payment record.
Then Cathy Lee Spaulding the IRS Revenue Agent who met with Larken in 2000 and then with Larken and Tessa in September 2000 verified the same things she did at Larken's trial.
Tomorrow the IRS will finish with Cathy and then she will be cross examined. This ended a little after 4:30 and will resume at 9:00 AM tomorrow.
My take on it thus far is that Tessa's attorney is doing a good job. The jury selection seems to be as good as could be expected. Please intensify your prayers for Tessa, her attorneys, the judge and the jury. Remember there is a 6 year old that she home schools and needs her parents.