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08/20/2004 Archived Entry: "More on Anthony Hargis' strange jailing"
A MONTH AGO TODAY I WROTE ABOUT ANTHONY HARGIS, wondering how a long-time figure in the freedom movement could be in jail for four months with scarcely a whisper being heard about his plight. Anthony was jailed after refusing to turn over the records of his private banking service to the IRS.
Anthony is still in the Santa Ana, California, jail. In response to my query, "Where the &^%$#@! are your supporters?" he writes:
The answer is complex. Unfortunately most people in the freedom movement have a foxhole mentality. ... Another factor is just plain fear of the IRS. An attorney friend contacted 6-8 other attorneys about helping and when they learned the IRS was involved they said, "No way!" More, the IRS has indicated in its filings that it intends to audit every one of my customers/supporters.
Who can blame them for wanting to avoid publicity? For not supporting me? It's the Catholic Inquisition with a different name.
The IRS has accused Anthony of operating an illegal tax-evasion scheme. On the contrary, Anthony points out in his court filings that he never promotes his services as a way of avoiding taxes, and that when prospective customers ask about the tax benefits in his service, he explains that there are none.
This wouldn't stop the IRS, of course. And Anthony is all too right that the IRS has a notorious history of going after the customers -- the little guys -- while letting supposedly "illegal" business operators off the hook. It's quite the exception that Anthony, who owns the company, is in jail while his customers remain unmolested. It seems that's largely due to Anthony's courage and integrity in refusing to reveal information about them.
Here's the latest public letter from Anthony regarding his case.
It sounds as if he has adequate legal representation, and he says so many constitutional violations have been committed against him that he's hopeful of winning his case on appeal (which shows a lot of faith in the justice system for someone who's basically jailed without due process). But it's a damn shame if those he's defending are too intimidated to defend him.
Any of you folks with legal or PR skills who'd like to look into this case further? Get in touch. I'll relay your offers of assistance to Anthony. (Note, you'll need to remove "SPAMTRAP" from that e-mail address before sending.)
Posted by Claire @ 07:51 AM CST