Hovind: The prosecution rests, the defense slips on banana peels

Today the prosecution in the tax-evasion trial of YEC lunatic Kent Hovind rested its case. The defense, it is reported, will not present a case, perhaps as they haven’t got one.

Just to give you an idea of what an inept loser Hovind has in his attorney, Alan Richey, this little gem: when IRS Agent Scott Schnieder was on the stand, Richey spent most of his cross throwing out stupid red herrings about Schnieder’s qualifications and doing his best to tap dance around the facts. This so pissed off the judge that Richey was admonished for his irrelevant and pointless questioning.

“Does everyone in your office pay their fair share of taxes?” Richey asked Schneider. Schneider didn’t respond because Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer objected and the judge agreed it was irrelevant.

When Richey spent several minutes looking for documents, Rodgers excused the jury. She then told Richey he was wasting their time. Rodgers then suggested Richey come in earlier or stay later to make sure his files were organized.

Gales of derisive laughter!

Florida schadenfreude continues: Hovind’s hubris will bring him down!

One can only imagine the glare on his face, and the word “Judas!” stuck on an endless loop inside his ever-so-loopy mind, as Kent Hovind watched his lawyer friend David Charles Gibbs effectively tie his noose on the stand in his tax-evasion trial. According to Gibbs, Hovind’s belief that he owed no taxes was rooted in a rather inflated sense of self-regard…

“He tried to stress to me that he was like the pope and this was like the Vatican,” Seminole attorney David Charles Gibbs testified at Hovind’s trial before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers.

LOL, ROTFL, and other snarky internet abbreviations! Even as an atheist I stand in awe of Michelangelo’s achievement on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. How deluded must Dr. Dumbo be to think the plywood cutout dinosaurs in his dippy theme park deserve comparison even on the subatomic scale?

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.”

Hey, it works for drug dealers, right?

When you think you’re the Invisible Sky Fairy’s official spokesman on Earth, I’m sure a bit of cockiness is in order, but here old Kent clearly isn’t even being subtle about thinking the laws of the land don’t apply to him, and proclaiming it loudly to boot.

Check the article’s comments, too. The majority of Christians are openly abandoning Hovind, if they ever accepted him in the first place. His only supporters are from the lunatic fringe of tax protesters, paranoid conspiracy theorists, and those guys who hang out in rural cabins with canned food, a shotgun, and a tinfoil hat, waiting for the Apocalypse.

Hovind on trial: Dr. Dino’s sleaze laid bare

Kent Hovind’s former employees — erm, excuse me, “missionaries” — have been testifying to his bizarre tax-avoidance practices. Among the shenanigans:

Popp testified that Hovind warned employees not to accept mail addressed to “KENT HOVIND.” He said Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his “all-caps name.” Hovind said if he accepted the mail, he would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation, Popp testified.

Amazing. Will Hovind’s beleaguered attorney continue to try to spin this smarm as the behavior of a man who honestly didn’t know about the tax laws he was breaking?

Kent is also fond of bullying and threatening his emp— I mean, his “missionaries”…

After the Dinosaur Adventure Land was raided on April 2004, Kent Hovind required his employees to sign nondisclosure agreements if they wanted to keep their jobs, she said.

“I was uncomfortable signing it, I guess, because of not having a full understanding,” [ex-employee Diane P.] Cooksey said.

…as well as filing frivolous lawsuits.

Hovind tried several bullying tactics against her, Powe testified. A recording that Hovind made of a phone conversation was then played. In the phone conversation, Hovind tried to make an appointment with Powe by 10 a.m. that day. When Powe said she couldn’t meet him because she had a staff meeting, Hovind threatened to sue her, which he did.

“Dr. Hovind sued me three times, maybe more,” Powe testified. “It just seemed to be something he did often.”

She testified that the cases were dismissed.

The picture that emerges here is one of a man completely mentally imbalanced. One wonders how someone as deranged as this is able to move freely and function in society. The rational mind reels at the chaos that must be Hovind’s mind; how does one live with one’s self when one’s entire day-to-day existence is a never-ending parade of dishonesty, guile, and just plain ugliness towards fellow human beings?

In his bankruptcy forms, Hovind wrote that he had no form of income, that he rejected his Social Security number and that his employer was God, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin] Beard testified.

“That gives you a warning sign,” Beard said.

Indeed it does. Indeed it does.

Well, maybe Hovind will get a chance to take over the prison ministry. He’ll be happy to know no one will expect him to pay taxes for that sort of work.

Kent’s in the dock; will God get him out?

We’re in for heavy doses of high comedy and rollicking entertainment over the next — well, however long it takes to find him guilty — as creationist pest and tax cheat Kent Hovind goes on trial, with his wife, for failure to pay nearly half a million dollars owed to the IRS.

Hovind’s defense is taking a comical “taxes? what taxes?” tack. They’re claiming poor innocent Kent was entirely ignorant of the many laws he’s broken, which is kind of like a kid, when caught by his mom stashing porno magazines under his mattress, frantically claiming they’re not his and he doesn’t know where they came from.

We also get heaping, hilarious doses of the common fundamentalist practice of calling things by other names, in the hope they’ll actually become those renamed things. Hovind claims his Dinosaur Adventure Land park had no employees, simply kind-hearted, godly “volunteers” who came over, did work, and got given a “love offering” that just happened to take the form of cash money. See, calling a wage a “love offering” magically makes it no longer a wage! So you don’t have to put it on the books, you see. Or at least, that’s how it works in Hovind’s alternate universe.

I wish this was going to be televised. I cannot wait to hear the prosecutor shred poor Kent’s claims of well-meaning innocence. For one thing, hasn’t anyone who’s been pulled over for an illegal U-turn already heard the phrase — all together now, kids — “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” from just about any motorcycle cop alive? And for Kent and his wife to have a number of just-under-$10K (the level where banks have to report the transaction) cash withdrawals on record, all the while trying to claim he just didn’t know any of this was against the law, should make for the most consistent round of belly-laughs since Monty Python went off the air.

This guy has been daring the IRS to come after him for years. He’s gotten his wish. Time to sit back and watch the fun.

Oh yeah, one more thing. It occurs to me that this might be the opportunity Christians everywhere have been waiting for; the final proof of God’s existence that will decisively shut up atheists and annoying libruls around the globe. If God really supports the work Kent is doing in His name, it seems all He’d have to do is put in a surprise appearance in court, demand the prosecutors lay off, declare Kent’s infantile brand of young-earth creationism to be true, and settle the issue once and for all, leading America to the great spiritual revival the fundamentalists have been working toward for the last several years.

Then again, if Kent goes up the river, it could just mean that God chose him to be a martyr for the Word. Drat those unfalsifiable propositions! I knew there was a reason science worked and nutbars like Hovind can only desperately scramble at lies for their pitiful salvation.