Skip to comments.Tax records identify illegals
Posted on 05/31/2009 6:50:27 AM PDT by Born Conservative
A prosecutor looking for illegal immigrants seized thousands of confidential tax records from an income tax preparer popular with Hispanics in this northern Colorado city.
The October seizures led to identity-theft and criminal-impersonation charges against more than 70 people, and prosecutors allege that as many as 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants were working using false or stolen Social Security numbers.
But the American Civil Liberties Union said the documents of as many as 4,900 people were seized, many of them legal residents, and that the probe was the "equivalent of a house-by-house search of innocent homeowners in order to find a suspect believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood."
Two judges have agreed, ruling that Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck had no probable cause to seize the records. Mr. Buck is appealing, however, and a ruling in his favor could open up a new avenue for prosecuting illegal immigrants.
The charges have been ironic for immigrants like Horacio Arturo Cervantes. The 42-year-old father of four from the Mexican state of Chihuahua said he had been honest about paying taxes, even though he was in the country illegally, because he was hoping for a path to U.S. citizenship.
Cervantes pleaded guilty to identity theft before the judges' rulings, and now faces deportation. He said he pleaded because he wanted to get out of jail and try his chances in immigration court.
"I feel like I'm up in the air, not knowing what's going on, just with a desire to stay here," he said in an interview in Spanish. His next court date is June 23.
Mr. Buck's investigation, dubbed Operation Numbers Game, marked the first time a prosecutor used tax records to charge illegal immigrants with identity theft, according to the ACLU and the Los Angeles-based National Immigration Law Center.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Cry me a river...
Yeah, I would like to hear that one since the ACLU never identifies anything properly when they go to court.
Yeah, he is honest even though he is a felon for using fake ID./SAR The liberals show no shame in the BS they spin trying to make law breakers seem like poor harmless working people. They are here illegally, they are felons for the most part and many are just downright vicious and violent.
Hiatt’s final day is July 31. Klein’s is June 30.
Judge who halted Weld ID-theft case retires
Did the judge get paid off? Something stinks!!
GREELEY Judge James Hiatt, chief judge of the Eighth Judicial District in Larimer County, announced his retirement Tuesday, the day after his controversial ruling that halted a major identity theft investigation.
Hiatt’s announcement also comes a week after Weld District Court chief judge Roger Klein said he will retire.
Hiatt on Monday ruled that a Weld County investigation targeting illegal immigrants through their tax records was illegal. Hiatt put a halt to the probe and ordered 5,000 records seized in a search of Amalia’s Tax and Translation Service either be destroyed or returned.
Hiatt was appointed district court judge in April 1986. In 2000, he was appointed Chief Judge.
Thank God someone is at it again, since no one here seems concerned about wholesale invasion of privacy. What, a problem with prosecutors walking in and rummaging through the confidential records of bsuinesses in search of illegal activity. Nothing wrong with that. I see no problem whatsoever. Doctors, lawyers, taxpreparers, marriage counselors, private investigators, yeah, that's the ticket. Maybe we should just require that they set up street side stands with all of their records and open them up to anyone who can make up a good excuse why they need to go snooping.
I really cannot believe that I am seeing this position taken on a forum by people who are supposed to believe we have a Constitution and have it for a reason.
It is a sad sad day when the ACLU has a higher standard of civil liberties than does a crowd of clowns here on FR.
There are legally protected relationships with doctors and lawyers, but is that the same case with a tax preparer?
And you think this idiot should hold public office??? The definition of a confidential record is one in the possession of the government? All records located on private property are fair game?
How do we get people in public office who can invert logic like that, and where do get a passel of fools around here who just nods at this nonsense and says yeah great thinking - go right ahead while I get some popcorn and cheer.
Sheesh. Since when did conservatives all become crack heads?
You have to ask?????
He already has a path. Return home and get in line behind those who are obeying the law.
And it should be.
And you will never be able to touch them because of these antics - poisoned fruit of the forbidden tree. This prosecuter might as well go back to writing parking tickets, because the rightful presumption is that he learned of every single illegal immigrant through unlawful searches and seizures.
I am amazed that this guy got through high school, much less law school and passed the bar.
The Prosecutor had a search warrant. That had to come from a Judge. I fail to see what upsets you about investigating a business that was engaged in covering up illegal activity?
It’s not like he picked some tax preparer at random. He found them when he was working on a stolen identity case.
Good he will not be around for the appeal.
Guess his desire does not go all the way to learning the language.
“You have to ask?”
Yes, given what you said, it needs to be asked. And answered.
I think the answer is no.
First, they were not investigating the business and really could not. Not for preparing tax returns because preparing tax returns is a lawful business and everyone has to submit tax returns and everyone therefore has the right to counsel and advice in preparing those returns. Everyone whether the income is legal or illegal is required to pay his taxes on it. The process of payment of taxes cannot be used as evidence of another crime. This is a basic common law principle and an exceedingly important one.
The names of all the ILLEGALS are out. They will not be able to get a job or open a business. That is the good news! “F” LaRaza!
This is irrelevant. The lower court judge has no role in the appeal process anyway.
Who would be completely welcome here IF he had done it the right way, like some of my immigrant friends and business associates, who went through the paperwork nightmares to do it legally. I have NO sympathy for people who want to jump the fence and try to short cut the process.
Is the process stupid and cumbersome? I could tell you stories that would make you want to pick up a gun. BUT - it's the law, and it has to be obeyed. Unless you're a favored minority that both parties want to cultivate, in which case the evil white conservatives are the ones who are causing you problems.
Whahhhh?!?!?! No your honor. I didn't decide to search Moonman62's house at random. I had just ticketed 3 cars on his street for expired meters. I needed to find out who was behind this and searched the house I was standing in front of. And I found another parking ticket on his daughter's dresser, so we strip searched her. Here is a picture of her tatoo. We are now searching all the tatoo parlors looking for evidence of this ring of illegally parked cars.
Try putting your brain back in your head and using it.
What does this have to do with anything? Do you have any idea how an appeal works? At the end of the day the appellate panel has to write an opinion. Since the facts are not reasonably in dispute here, it is entirely an issue of law. These 3 judges are going to work hard to try to get a legal argument right that will fly at the next level, either the State SC or the Federal Court of Appeals (since this is a 4th amendment case). The lobby power of a sitting lower court judge is rather minimal at that level. And it will be appealed as high as it has to be since the ACLU is on one side of this case and that is what they do, and I would guess that at some point we will see our good friends Tribe or Dershowitz or some such on it.
And I will cheer that because we have idiots willing to burn our constitution whenever it suits the political whim of the moment.
Has nothing to do with it, same as your silly reply to me!!!
Both the money paid in taxes, and the income they were paid on came from illegal activity. The tax preparer was actively engaged in fostering the illegal crime and cover-up of same.
Should drug dealers be exempt from being charged if they open up a “drug dealer tax service”?
Why is siding with the US constitution seen as anti-American?
Except that it doesn't fly and didn't fly with three separate judges. Moreover, the tax preparer is not the target of the investigation. The tax preparer was not engaged in an unlawful activity. He was preparing tax returns.
By the way, since you have made the claim, who earned income from an unlawful activity?
Are you really this dense? If you want to charge drug dealers with a crime, you go and catch them dealing drugs and then you charge them with dealing drugs. It's a pretty simple concept that the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the 4th Amendment.
Your problem is that you and this prosecutor have gotten yourselves sidetracked on this irrelevancy of a tax preparer. The prosecutor thought it was a nice shortcut to doing his investigative job. Well it isn't and we have a constitution that says so.
The tax preparer who knowingly covered up the illegal workers by having them file with a tax ID and fake SS#, and the illegal workers that had no legal right to work in this country.
Because we’re becoming the USSA. THe USSR had a great constitution too....on paper.
It’s not the same thing, and if you were confident in your position you wouldn’t be calling those who disagree with you crack heads.
How do you catch anyone if you can't understand the concept of investigating? He had a warrant to search records because he was investigating crimes.
Just because three liberal moonbat judges think illegals should be sheltered from deportation doesn't mean they are correct.
Liberal judges think murdering children is free speech and queer marriage are correct too.
One minor argument with your patently ridiculous argument is that the tax preparer hasn't been charged with any crime.
The tax preparer merely collected such personal and financial information from the tax payer as was necessary to prepare the tax return and perhaps forwarded that and the tax to the IRS. Sounds like a legal business to me.
Are you suggesting that the tax preparer told the taxpayers that they should provide him with false information and that he forwarded that information knowing that it was false? He would be an idiot if he did that since he can operate a perfectly lawful business making exactly the same amount of money without knowingly providing false information.
I am confident in my position. I don't base the strength of my argument on whether or not the guys I am arguing with are crackheads, but rather the 4th Amendment, probable cause, unreasonable searches, etc. I have no idea why you would argue that the 4th should be put in abeyance. There are lots of explanations for this. You have already suggested one.
It's not me but the prosecutor you need to make this speech to.
Investigating a crime is simple. You start with the fact that a crime actually occurred. You then look for evidence as to who might have committed the crime. Then based upon probable cause you can get a warrant to search a specific place for a specific set of records relevant to the probable cause and the crime that actually occurred. Etc.
The concept isn't that hard. It takes legwork and brainpower, and this prosecutor was clearly trying to short circuit all of that.
BINGO! What do you think the purpose of “La Raza tax service” is?
You think 1,300 illegals just picked a tax service out of the phone book? No, they knew exactly where they could get someone to help them fill out the phony forms.
He got warrants which 3 different judges have decided were not properly obtained. If all warants were valid then there would be no 4th Amendment cases in our courts. They are plenty of them.
BTW your logical fallacy here is called begging the question. It is also an argumentum ad vericundum (bowing to the weight of authority). He is the prosecutor. He is investing a crime. He must be right.
Were the forms phony? Or the income declared? Or the TIN? None of the above.
What was phony was the SS# that these guys provided to their employers to prove they were "legal." I seriously doubt the tax preparer asked for or submitted these numbers to the IRS. Indeed we know that because the tax return would have been bounced at some point for having incorrect information.
The IRS does not require a SS# to submit and income tax form.
And again, no one has charged the tax preparer with any crime.
Same argument for you Skippy...They are Judges, they understand the law, They must be right?
The courts are chock full of liberal moron judges!
First, I don't think your facts are exactly right. They seized 4900 tax records, of which 70 were believed to be from illegals. I don't know whether you are in business but tell me how long you could survive on the revenue from preparing 1300 fairly simple tax forms. Assume $300 per tax return, which is probably high. Ready, steady, go.
I have a couple of modest proposals. Let us go through the US and shut down and seize the records of every business that uses "La Raza" as part of the title. Must all be illegal or front runners of illegals. Surely, must be (complete and utter sarcasm for those reading this).
Second modest proposal, since we are at it. A lot of bootleggers were Irish. Let us seize the records of anyone who does business with anyone with an Irish name. We are looking for bootleggers and bootlegging is an incredibly serious crime because it involves tax evasion, illegal immigrants, murdering police and public officials.
Actually that is not my argument. My argument is only that 3 judges ruled against this prosecutor in a manner consistent with my understanding of the 4th amendment.
Since, as I understand it, one of these cases is before the Colorado Supreme Court, if I thought my argument further depended upon it, I would go and pull the case files and read the briefs on both sides. ACLU briefs are usually pretty easy to find. They also tend to be very well written because they have a lot of really smart people trying to make their mark and have the money to pay top legal talent to help.
Why were 1,300 of 5,200 of the preparers customers using a TIN rather than a SS# to file taxes?
The income likely was from a chicken plant or construction company. That wouldn't sound an alarm for any honest tax service?
There are some interesting statements in the Judge's Opinion:
It is a very clear and well written opinion and nothing in it suggest that the Judge is a liberal moonbat, rather than someone trying to follow the laws of the State of Colorado and the US.
This investigation, dubbed Operation Numbers Game by the District Attorney and the Weld County Sheriff, did not involve alleged or suspected criminal activities by Amalia Cerrillo, or any of her employees, at the time the affidavit for the search warrant was presented to the judge for review. The affidavit presented in support of the search warrant contained information that one named client of Amalias Tax Service, Mr. Trejo, had filed tax returns using an admittedly false name and SSN.