Hovind Found Guilty of Contempt of Court

After a quick trial, a jury has found professional liar and creationist Kent Hovind guilty of contempt of court for filing fraudulent paperwork to block the sale of property seized by the federal government to pay some of the taxes he refused to pay, which got him sent to prison in the first place.

Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind was found guilty on just one of four counts Thursday, while his co-defendant Paul John Hansen was found guilty on two of five charges.

Hovind and Hansen face sentencing June 12, but their followers remain adamant they walk out of jail afterward free men.

Hovind was found guilty of contempt for filing paperwork disputing the government’s right to sell his property. The jury was unable to agree on the three other charges Hovind was facing…

Hovind is on the tail end of a nearly decade-long prison sentence for failing to withhold payroll taxes and “structuring” bank transactions to evade federal reporting requirements. To pay his tax debts, Hovind was ordered to forfeit 10 properties surrounding his biblical theme park, Dinosaur Adventure Land.

In addition, Hovind and his ministry were restricted by court injunction from filing claims, liens and other actions on the properties.

The contempt charges against Hovind and Hansen, a church trustee, were filed after the men submitted additional court papers contesting the land’s ownership. Among them was a “lis pendens,” a document warning potential buyers that the property was under legal dispute and which Hovind described to his daughter as “dog crap” on the government’s shoe. It was for those actions Hovind was found guilty Thursday.

Hansen was convicted of the same charge for filing liens against several of the properties the government ordered forfeited, and for failure to appear before grand jury subpoena in August.

Yep, that would be a clear case of contempt of court.

A half dozen federal marshals in blue blazers watched closely as the crowd of nearly 50, most of them Hovind supporters, trailed out of the courtroom. They gathered outside on a the sidewalk where Rudy Davis led them in prayer: “We are praying that he can walk out of that prison.”

Yeah, you should keep doing that. It worked so well when you prayed that he wouldn’t get convicted on the first charges. And when you prayed that he wouldn’t be sent to prison. And when you prayed that he’d get early parole. Clearly you have to pray more loudly or something.

The crowd of Hovind supporters commiserated for about 20 minutes outside after the verdict. They vowed to write letters to legislators, in particular U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Chumuckla.

Yeah, that’ll work just as well. You do realize that legislators can’t change a court verdict, right?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    I don’t do criminal law, much less Federal criminal law, but Peter Reilly, who blogs on tax matters for Forbes, posted on his personal blog, Your Tax Matters Partner, that the guidelines indicate a sentence of 21 to 27 months and a possibility that they could go as high as 31 to 37 months. The criminal law expert Reilly consulted felt that, although the judge is not bound by these guidelines, under the circumstances of this case, she probably would adhere to them.

    http://ytmp.blogspot.com/2015/03/kent-hovind-likely-to-be-sentenced-to.html

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    If Mr. Hovind’s supporters want him to see less time in jail, they should advise him to quit stepping on the teeth of that rake in his yard.

  • wreck

    After all that time in prison, shouldn’t Ken be gay by now?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    wreck “After all that time in prison, shouldn’t Ken be gay by now?”

    It’s worse than that. He converted to Islam!

  • Erp

    Theoretically the legislature could pass a law making what he did legal and retroactively freeing those convicted of it. The supporters would have better luck writing President Obama and asking for a pardon.

  • erichoug

    I really just don’t get the people who support people like this.

    I mean the man is a liar, a fraud, a convicted felon and all in all just not a good person. Why would anyone, especially someone who is supposedly a believer in the Bible and in Christianity want to follow and support someone like this.

    I mean, I could see them saying “Hey Kent, whenever you get out, we’ll make sure you have a place to stay and we’ll help you get back on your feet with a lovely job working the counter at Arby’s.” But why in the name of almighty Cthulhu would you want to hold out a convicted tax cheat and liar to be some sort of guiding role model?

  • MikeMa

    @erichoug, We see this a lot. Andrew Wakefield is a rockstar in autism circles. Oh, and a fraud of course.

  • erichoug

    MikeMa@ #7 Mine was Lance Armstrong. When I was going through college, I worked as a bike messenger here in Houston. Armstrong was like some sort of God to all of us both for surviving cancer and then when he came back and won the Tour.

    But, when he admitted that he used performance enhancing drugs, I didn’t double down. I realized what a fraud and an asshole he was. I let go of my hero worship and accepted the truth. And, that is for someone who just cheated at pro cycling. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t do the same for someone who is telling you how to live your whole life.

    It’s just baffling to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    This is win-win for Hovind’s supporters. If he gets released, they can claim a great victory for Jay-zus! If he goes to prison, it plays into their persecution fantasy, which is always good for fundraising. There’s no downside at all for them to double down on their support.

  • jd142

    @5 – And they could also ask their legislators to lobby the judge for a lighter sentence, like no jail time. Which was how I read it. But then, we’re rational people who know that barring your example, legislators don’t get to reverse court decisions.

  • DaveL

    “We are praying that he can walk out of that prison.”

    He can walk out of that prison. He just needs to stop being a lying, obfuscatory, obstructionist dick to the IRS, the courts, and the entire legal system.

  • raven

    I really just don’t get the people who support people like this.

    1. That’s good. If you could understand them, you might end up one of them.

    2. It could be worse. At Jonestown, Guyana, 800 people drank poisoned Flavorade*. The Heaven’s Gate people died to join the spaceship behind comet Hale-Bopp. A majority of Americans voted for George Bush twice.

    3. Humans naturally form up into groups. And some of those groups do very strange things. Religious cults have a deservedly bad reputation.

    4. I doubt if Hovind’s tiny band of supporters are remotely close to the best and brightest our society has produced. More likely they are on the lower margins.

    * I’m not sure if anyone really knows what brand of powdered soft drink they used for the cyanide. The Koolade people keep insisting it was not Koolade. In any event, if your church starts having practice mass suicide drills, join a different one!!!

  • Trebuchet

    @12, Raven:

    A majority of Americans voted for George Bush twice.

    No, they didn’t. Per Wikipedia:

    Candidate Bush Gore

    Popular vote 50,456,002 50,999,897

    Percentage 47.9% 48.4%

    So neither got a majority, but Gore got a plurality.

    Now I’ll click “post” and see how borked the formatting gets.

  • david

    How is Hovind’s action (fraudulently acting to obfuscate the ownership of properties that are at risk of foreclosure) any different from the action of the Catholic church (transferring funds at risk of forfeiture to a cemetery maintenance fund)?

  • thebookofdave

    “We are praying that he can walk out of that prison.”

    Oh, so he is appealing to a higher power to overturn the verdict. Bold strategy, considering how few cases that judge ever takes.

  • Lady Mondegreen

    I really just don’t get the people who support people like this.

    I mean the man is a liar, a fraud, a convicted felon and all in all just not a good person. Why would anyone, especially someone who is supposedly a believer in the Bible and in Christianity want to follow and support someone like this.

    I know a number of Skeptics who support liar, fraud, and felon Brian Dunning. Whatever motivates this behavior, skeptics aren’t immune to it either.

  • anubisprime

    Modusoperandi @ 4

    It’s worse than that. He converted to Islam!

    Come on Modus admit it …seems that indicates an actually marginal improvement in his mental health…not much granted but …errr!…encouraging all the same!…possibly!