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Jury acquits pilot, who questioned IRS, of tax-evasion counts
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) | August 9, 2003 | Shirley Downing

Posted on 08/09/2003 12:38:00 PM PDT by citizenx7

A federal jury Friday found FedEx pilot Vernice Kuglin not guilty of evading income taxes on $920,000.

The question of tax payment was unresolved at the end of the five-day trial.

"I think it is safe to assume the IRS will attempt civil collection, but she is not guilty of tax evasion," said defense attorney Robert Bernhoft of Milwaukee.

"I feel justified," a grinning Kuglin said after the verdict was returned at mid--afternoon. She stood outside the federal building, chatting with supporters and jurors.

Federal prosecutor Joe Murphy was not available for comment.

Kuglin, 58, was charged with six counts of tax evasion that could have meant up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

The government accused Kuglin of filing false W4 forms for the period from 1996 to 2001.

Kuglin, a pilot for FedEx since 1985, said she had paid taxes like anyone else for most of her life. But about 10 or 11 years ago, she began to question the federal tax system. She began to read court documents, legal opinions and the federal tax code.

She said she found what she felt were contradictions. She wanted to know where in the federal tax code it said she was liable for taxes.

Kuglin wrote the Internal Revenue Service twice in 1995 with questions but said she didn't get a response.

Murphy, in closing arguments on Thursday, said Kuglin did have an opportunity to discuss her situation with the IRS, to learn what she owed and what documents she was required to file "and she didn't."

Defense attorney Larry Becraft of Huntsville, Ala., said Kuglin decided mandatory payment of income taxes "did not apply to her."

After the verdict Friday, Becraft said the federal tax code is a confusing conglomeration that "at best is a walking due process violation."

He said the average American simply doesn't understand the tax code.

Juror Barbara Snodgras of Memphis said the jury did not convict because "we all felt that the prosecution didn't prove its case."

When asked if she planned to start paying federal income taxes again, Kuglin replied: "I will pay all the taxes for which I am liable."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: irs; taxreform
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The case is: U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) # 03-CR-20111, USA v. Kuglin.
1 posted on 08/09/2003 12:38:01 PM PDT by citizenx7
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To: citizenx7
bttt
2 posted on 08/09/2003 12:39:58 PM PDT by firewalk
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To: BeforeISleep
Wow this is incredible... the judge intimated that the tax code violates the 5th Amendment!
3 posted on 08/09/2003 12:45:07 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Objects in post may be more clever than they first appear)
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To: thoughtomator
Of course! The Tax code is written in such a clever manner, so that is can be understood to be Constitutional, by, amoung other things, saying it it "voluntary". Once you sign a 1040, under penalty of perjury, you surrender many of your constitutional rights away, and put yourself at grave legal risk.
4 posted on 08/09/2003 12:56:24 PM PDT by citizenx7
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To: thoughtomator
Federal prosecutor Joe Murphy was not available for comment.

Ha ha!

5 posted on 08/09/2003 12:56:59 PM PDT by eno_
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To: citizenx7
Soooooo... jury nullification good, or bad?

One could argue this was not actual jury nullification, since the jury's reasoning was basically that the Code is so complex the case could not be proven in practice. But it is sure in a grey area.

It will be interesting to see if the civil case goes down in flames, too.
6 posted on 08/09/2003 1:00:14 PM PDT by eno_
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To: citizenx7
This isn't going to make the "Fat Pink White Boy's" of the tax industry, both public and private, happy. The bureaucracy of government and private accounting professionals make a good living off this parasitical revenue system. Also, they have friends in high places and will not go away without a fight.
7 posted on 08/09/2003 1:06:55 PM PDT by elbucko
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To: eno_
I doubt if this is within the catagory of Jury Nullification. This sort of thing happens with some frequency. The jury is not (necessarily) being given the legal facts of the case, and making a statement that they believe the law is wrong! They are saying that, for whatever reason, the government has not, and will not state the legal reason why this individual is required to pay the Income Tax! If the government can't explain the reason for bringing this person to trial, from the law, then it should lose every time.
8 posted on 08/09/2003 1:10:31 PM PDT by citizenx7
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To: citizenx7

Click on picture

9 posted on 08/09/2003 1:10:37 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: elbucko
I can tell you I would be a highly sceptical juror on any tax case. It would have to be crytal clear to me, including the fundamental legal issues, due process issues, etc., before I would vote to convict.
10 posted on 08/09/2003 1:15:30 PM PDT by eno_
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To: eno_
I can tell you I would be a highly skeptical juror on any tax case.

So would I. The prosecution would have the impossible mission of proving any violation of tax law to me, were I a juror.

11 posted on 08/09/2003 1:33:52 PM PDT by elbucko
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To: citizenx7
When asked if she planned to start paying federal income taxes again, Kuglin replied: "I will pay all the taxes for which I am liable."

That's the perfect answer - the IRS, when asked, can't seem to point to any section of the law or regulations that makes the average American liable to pay income tax.

12 posted on 08/09/2003 1:40:28 PM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel
I don't know about you, but I couldn't sleep at night if I couldn't be open and honest with my answers. The defendant in this case had the perfect answer, because it is honest and truthful.

I don't know how Federal Prosecutors, Tax Attorney's, and IRS employee's sleep at night!
13 posted on 08/09/2003 1:51:04 PM PDT by citizenx7
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To: citizenx7
Easy, just think of Hedly Lamar

{ B L A Z I N G ~ S A D D L E S }.

ps

He actually wrote the code!

14 posted on 08/09/2003 2:06:50 PM PDT by norraad
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To: citizenx7
Where are all of the cut-and-paste flying monkeys on this one?
15 posted on 08/09/2003 2:07:38 PM PDT by agitator (Ok, mic check...line one...)
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To: agitator
Where are all of the cut-and-paste flying monkeys on this one?


15 posted on 08/09/2003 2:07 PM PDT by agitator



I think you have picked an apt screen name.
16 posted on 08/09/2003 2:13:03 PM PDT by justshe ("Do you trust a Democrat to protect America?")
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To: eno_
Years ago I was selected to do Federal Jury duty in Boston. The Federal Judge was Walter Skinner.

Judge Skinner asked if anyone wanted to be excused. There were about 74 jurors in the courtroom. There were only about 6 people who went to the bench because you could write in for two weeks prior to that reporting date and give a reason to be excused.

I heard the reasons given by a couple of people ahead of me and Judge Skinner said they were excused pending verification of their reasons to be excused.

Now comes my turn. I get in front of Judge Skinner and ask him if we would be trying anyone for income tax evasion. He says that is a possibility. I say I could not render an unbiased verdict in that type of case. He asks me why.

Now understand the bench is about 4 feet wide between us so I lean forward and say: There is no way I am going to find anyone guilty of tax evasion when one of the richest men in the country, the Vice President, Nelson Rockerfeller only paid $900 in federal taxes last year.

Judge Skinner glares at me and then I say out loud "The federal system of taxation SUCKS.

All hell broke loose with that remark. The two proscecutors behind me, jumped me -the man in charge of seating the jurors in the jury box jumped the rail and grabbbed me - the police grabbed me. There were about a dozen people who had me pinned against the bench in front of Judge Skinner.

Judge Skinner leaned over and said. "It's to bad you feel that way."This man is not excused he will be on jury duty! He kept me on jury duty for 6 weeks. I got thrown off every case by the proscecutors, that I was selected to be on.

It was an interesting 6 weeks. I had to report every Monday and then got bounced by the proscecutors. - tom

17 posted on 08/09/2003 2:25:40 PM PDT by Capt. Tom (anything done in moderation shows a lack of interest -Capt. Tom circa 1948)
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To: Capt. Tom
Excellent!

I'd have stayed in the pool and shut up, and cost someone their tax case had I been on the jury.

But your experience shows the truth: the government is the enemy.
18 posted on 08/09/2003 2:29:37 PM PDT by eno_
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To: Taxman
fyi
19 posted on 08/09/2003 2:53:11 PM PDT by jla
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To: eno_
A big 'what you said' BUMP!
20 posted on 08/09/2003 4:39:08 PM PDT by Badray (Molon Labe!)
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To: Capt. Tom
Good Story. LOL
21 posted on 08/09/2003 4:56:07 PM PDT by VRW Conspirator ( Ink by the barrel? - Bah, electrons are limitless!)
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To: eno_
I'd have stayed in the pool and shut up, and cost someone their tax case had I been on the jury.

Just as the framers of the Constitution would have wanted it.

22 posted on 08/09/2003 4:57:08 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Capt. Tom
. The two proscecutors behind me, jumped me -the man in charge of seating the jurors in the jury box jumped the rail and grabbbed me - the police grabbed me. There were about a dozen people who had me pinned against the bench in front of Judge Skinner.

That was quite unfair. Only 12 against you?

Obviously they needed more guys. :-)

23 posted on 08/09/2003 5:20:03 PM PDT by lowbridge (You are the audience. I am the author. I outrank you! -Franz Liebkind, The Producers)
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To: citizenx7
It is very interesting.

The government wants you to believe that you are liable for taxes, however there is no law that spells this out.

That is why the IRS always refers to the tax system as voluntary.

If you don't volunteer, you can not be prosecuted for lying or anything else.

I have read the story of a fellow in Denver who simply started his argument with the IRS by asking to be excused from his right not to self incriminate by signing the 1040. It is the signing of the 1040 and your attendant assertion that causes all the grief.

Because you can not be compelled to self incriminate, the system must be voluntary in order to work. This gal has opted out in the eyes of a jury. I wonder what they will try to hang her with next?

The fellow in Denver was ultimately excused from paying taxes after a lengthy number of court sessions where he simply questioned, successfully, his right not to self incriminate by signing the 1040. A federal judge here in Denver said he would not rule on the viability of the tax code and told the defendant so in court.

I am not advocating anyone do this and I don't have the time or money to do anything but volunteer. But I sure like to see a case like this once in a while.
24 posted on 08/09/2003 5:21:23 PM PDT by Pylot
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To: agitator
I notice the CPA and government agent contingent hasn't commented.
25 posted on 08/09/2003 5:46:45 PM PDT by lainie
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To: Pylot
"If you don't volunteer, you can not be prosecuted for lying or anything else."

I thought that failure to file was a crime as well?

26 posted on 08/09/2003 8:03:49 PM PDT by kennyo
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To: Pylot
We can end all of thsi crap very quickly if we pressured our congressmen on the Fair Tax.
27 posted on 08/09/2003 9:31:49 PM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Support real tax reform - HR 25! See http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: ovrtaxt
What do you prefer? Flat tax or NRST?
28 posted on 08/09/2003 9:56:01 PM PDT by eno_
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To: eno_
Neither. Tariffs on outsourcing.
29 posted on 08/09/2003 10:12:24 PM PDT by dufekin (Eliminate genocidical terrorist miltiary dictator Kim Jong Il now.)
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To: dufekin
Yes, tariffs are the constitutional way to do it. But we have a bill in congress NOW that could be a reality if enough people made enough noise. Of the flat tax/ nrst, I prefer the nrst because it's a tax on spending, not income. Taxing income is a Marxist idea. Very evil.
30 posted on 08/09/2003 11:30:08 PM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Support real tax reform - HR 25! See http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: eno_
Yes, tariffs are the constitutional way to do it. But we have a bill in congress NOW that could be a reality if enough people made enough noise. Of the flat tax/ nrst, I prefer the nrst because it's a tax on spending, not income. Taxing income is a Marxist idea. Very evil.


31 posted on 08/09/2003 11:30:39 PM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Support real tax reform - HR 25! See http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: Pylot
...however there is no law that spells this out.

How does 26 USC 6012 sound?

Sec. 6012. - Persons required to make returns of income

(a) General rule

Returns with respect to income taxes under subtitle A shall be made by the following:

(1)

(A) Every individual having for the taxable year gross income which equals or exceeds the exemption amount, except that a return shall not be required of an individual -

(i) who is not married (determined by applying section 7703), is not a surviving spouse (as defined in section 2(a)), is not a head of a household (as defined in section 2(b)), and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual,

(ii) who is a head of a household (as so defined) and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual,

(iii) who is a surviving spouse (as so defined) and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual, or

(iv) who is entitled to make a joint return and whose gross income, when combined with the gross income of his spouse, is, for the taxable year, less than the sum of twice the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to a joint return, but only if such individual and his spouse, at the close of the taxable year, had the same household as their home.

Clause (iv) shall not apply if for the taxable year such spouse makes a separate return or any other taxpayer is entitled to an exemption for such spouse under section 151(c).

Click here for the rest of this law.

32 posted on 08/10/2003 12:00:13 AM PDT by bigaln2 (Proud to live in the USA.)
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To: ovrtaxt
Correct. The economic arguments over NRST make my eyes glaze over, but the real benefit is that income would not need to be reported.

Imagine it: real financial privacy. Real freedom.
33 posted on 08/10/2003 5:42:06 AM PDT by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: jla; *Taxreform; Bigun; ancient_geezer
Thanks for the ping.

There will continue to be court cases decided in this manner -- the American people are getting fed up with the evil, Marxist progressive income tax. The more the government pushes, the more resistance the government will get FRom the people.

Eventually, the tide will turn, and "Poof! The income tax and the IRS will disappear into the dustbin of history, where they both properly belong!

I encourage all FReepers to join with us as we work to replace the income tax with a National Retail Sales Tax and abolish the IRS.

Click here, here, here, and here to find out how you can help.

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800.]

Click here to help us scrap the Code, scrap the IRS and abolish the VLWC!

You can also click here to sign a petition in support of Fundamental Tax Replacement.

We will never be a truly FRee people so long as we have the income tax and the IRS.

34 posted on 08/10/2003 7:13:57 AM PDT by Taxman
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To: Taxman
We will never be a truly FRee people so long as we have the income tax and the IRS.

I honestly believe we'll see a drastic revamping of the tax system in this country in the next decade.
And to work, it'll have to be done on not just the federal level, but state & local as well.

Taxman...Thanks for the links you post.

35 posted on 08/10/2003 7:26:53 AM PDT by jla
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To: ovrtaxt
I agree the NRST is much more protective of our freedoms.

I get the impression though that all this discussion about Flat Tax/NRST is bottled up politically.

When Steve Forbes ran in 1996, he at least had the courage to bring the Flat Tax to a national level of debate. Since then I am convinced that any income tax will in time backslide into what we have now.

There appears no national consensus on the subject because of fear of the unknown and fear of prosecution.

It will take a national catastrophe or failure to get the population willing to change the current system. The national failure of social security and medicare is beginning the process that will worsen as the age demographic continues towards a larger average.

If there is one thing with certainty I have observed as an American in my country's politics, that is we always wait to be bombed in either a figurative or literal sense before we act.

I remember in 2002 some of George Bush's people signaling a major change in the tax code through the media. I remember thinking it would probably never happen but if it was raised in debate, it would in President Bush's 2nd term.
36 posted on 08/10/2003 7:46:49 AM PDT by Hostage
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To: Hostage
I get the impression though that all this discussion about Flat Tax/NRST is bottled up politically.

I was listening to Neal Boortz the other day. He had John Linder(R)Ga, the sponsor of HR25 on the air. He said the main thing was for people to convince their representatives that this is wanted. They are not focused on this issue as much as the average taxpayer out here. They don't realize, I think, how pervasive is the angry undercurrent with this issue. So the next step is, according to Linder, that we get busy writing our politicians. And letters are better than email for getting their attention.

BTW, Tom Delay is one of 32 cosponsors.

37 posted on 08/10/2003 10:33:34 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Support real tax reform - HR 25! See http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: bigaln2
Well, if that's a convincing argument, I guess the Federal prosecutors were too stupid to look it up and bring it out in court. Good thing bigaln2 wasn't around to blow the whole case for the defendant!
38 posted on 08/10/2003 10:35:34 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Support real tax reform - HR 25! See http://www.fairtax.org)
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To: bigaln2
Well you got me there.

I guess the part where you are required to incriminate yourself is the argument the fellow in Denver made.

In any case, I still like to see someone win one once in a while. No other country enslaves it citizens with tax law the way the US does.
39 posted on 08/10/2003 3:51:22 PM PDT by Pylot
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To: citizenx7
The IRS is an illegal agencyy
40 posted on 08/10/2003 6:33:29 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: Tribune7
ping
41 posted on 08/10/2003 6:34:29 PM PDT by Temple Owl
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To: citizenx7
I found it mentioned on the court calendar but no details

Can you provide a link to the article?

42 posted on 08/10/2003 6:43:53 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Temple Owl
bump
43 posted on 08/10/2003 6:58:00 PM PDT by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: bigaln2
I checked out your link. All this law says is that I have to file a return. It doesn't say I'm liable for any taxes.

Big difference. Try again.

44 posted on 08/10/2003 7:13:18 PM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: wcbtinman
"I checked out your link. All this law says is that I have to file a return. It doesn't say I'm liable for any taxes."

Yes, that's correct. And when you fill out the form truthfully you demonstrate that you have taxable income. And the form says that you have to send them that amount.
45 posted on 08/11/2003 10:56:32 AM PDT by webstersII
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To: mvpel
IIRC, income is only on the profits from investments. Compensation for your labor is not income.
46 posted on 08/11/2003 1:30:55 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: citizenx7
This is the Sixth District (6th District). I wonder if it can be used as case law precedent in other districts besides the 6th.
47 posted on 08/11/2003 3:14:50 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Makes sense to me, I don't get how most morons miss that, but thank God for morons, otherwise we'd have something worse.
48 posted on 08/12/2003 8:36:46 AM PDT by norraad
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To: jla
You are most welcome. We have our work cut out for us, but we can win this battle. With your help, of course, and the help of other Patriotic Americans.

Want to see it again?

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800.]

Click here to help us scrap the Code, scrap the IRS and abolish the VLWC!

You can also click here to sign a petition in support of Fundamental Tax Replacement.

We will never be a truly FRee people so long as we have the income tax and the IRS.

49 posted on 08/13/2003 6:23:00 AM PDT by Taxman
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To: Tribune7
Sorry, I don't have a link to the article, if the newspaper is on the web, I'm sure it can be located. Of greater interest to me, would be to see if the story was picked up by any major media? I have heard it discussed on at least one talk radio station, but not a network, so far.

The information deserves to be distributed far and wide!
50 posted on 08/13/2003 3:11:35 PM PDT by citizenx7
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