By JJ MacNab | May 11, 2008
I’m posting two blog entriesÂ again today.Â Be sure to read “Day 4″ first.Â
I’mÂ really interested in hearing fromÂ the defendant in this case, and I would imagine the jurors are too.Â Based on the strong evidence the jury has heard so far, the defendant is going to have to take the stand if he hopes to convince the jury that he really had a good faith belief inÂ hisÂ zero taxÂ scheme.
The defendant is young, handsome, makes a great living doing what he enjoys, and he’s married to an attorney who, until recently, worked for the US government as a federal prosecutor.Â What the heck happened?Â
How could he not know that what he was doing was going to land him in hot water?Â
He’s a detective, trained in sniffing out crime and is an expert at knowing when people are lying.Â He’s won numerous awards and accolades for his detecting skills.Â Why didn’t he detect that the obvious garbage being peddled to him was a scam?Â Where does he think the money comes from to pay for things like police salaries?
His federal prosecutor wife was paying her taxes and had chosen “married, filing separately” on her own tax returns.Â Didn’t they talk about his mistaken beliefs? Didn’t she warn him?
The IRS was sending him one nasty letter afterÂ another threatening liens, levies, and criminal charges.Â He’s hired multiple lawyers to defend him now, so why didn’t he hire a lawyer then to answer any questions he may have had about the tax laws?Â
And why hasn’t he paid his taxes yet?
According to public records and what we’ve seen in the trial so far, the defendant lives very well.Â He and his new wife purchased a 7 bedroom, 3.5 bath home in the nicest quadrant of DC on 3/31/2005 for $805,000.Â Â His wifeÂ later left the Justice Department and has since taken a job as the “Institutional Integrity Officer” at the World Bank.Â Â She’s obviously pretty stinkin’ smart and successful.Â The defendant also owns a four unit apartment building, and a beauty salon, so he’s doing pretty well.
To purchase that $805,000 home, he and his wife took out a fixed-rate, conventional mortgage of $644,000 from Bank of America.Â What did he use as tax returns to qualify for that loan if he hadn’t filed returns since the 2002 tax year (which he only sent in late in December, 2004.)
In addition to that property, the detective’s wife bought another piece of real estate – a condominium also in northwest DC – less than a month later.Â The sale price was $495,000 and the mortgage (a variable rate conventional loan) was for $445,500.Â
Within a 30-day period, between the two of them, they had qualified for almost $1.1 million in loans.
As I said, there are a lot of questions that can only be answered if the Detective takes the stand. It should be interesting, to say the least.
Ironically, the defendant purchased his home from a lawyerÂ named Jerome A. Swindell, a man who used to be the assistant special counsel to the Special Committee on Police Misconduct and Personnel Management of the Council of the District of Columbia. At the time he sold the home to Detective Irving, Swindell was working at theÂ Federal Trade Commission,Â the government agency that shuts down scams.