An Oregon man is learning the lesson that Kent Hovind learned — or should have learned — a few years ago, that invoking your religious beliefs does not get you out of having to pay taxes. His refusal to render unto Caesar earned him 8 years in prison and over $7 million in debt to the IRS.
Standing before a federal judge Monday, a software entrepreneur defended his decade-long refusal to pay federal income taxes, saying that complying with demands made by the Internal Revenue Service would break his “blood covenant” with God.
“My hands, my feet, my words, my ideas, my labor, my actions are all and have been given to the Lord for his glory,” said Chester Evans Davis, 56, of Oregon City, convicted last March of tax evasion, evasion of assessment and other charges.
Submitting a tax return would “put the God of this state above my God,” Davis said, his voice breaking. “I won’t do it.”
But U.S. District Judge Michael Simon rejected the businessman’s claims that he simply had an honest dispute with the IRS. He sentenced Davis to eight years and one month in prison.
The judge noted that Davis, believed to owe $7.1 million in taxes and penalties, transferred money to try to hide it from the government, attempted to file harassing liens against federal officials and even tried to obtain arrest warrants against IRS employees.
Tell it to the judge. Oh wait, you already did. Tell it to your cellmate.