Thursday, August 30, 2007
Judge Orders Web Site Selling Tax-Evasion Advice to Close, by David Cay Johnston:
A Web site that sells materials stating that individuals can legally stop paying taxes has been shut on the order of a federal judge. [United States v. Schulz, No. 1:07-cv-0352 (N.D.N.Y. (8/9/07)). Judge Thomas J. McAvoy, a senior judge in the Northern District of New York who issued the order on Aug. 9, wrote that the First Amendment did not protect the two organizations that operate the Web site, or their founder, because the site incited criminal conduct. Judge McAvoy ruled that some people who went to the Web site stopped paying taxes, causing the government harm.
Judge McAvoy also ordered that the names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and Social Security numbers of every person who received materials on how to stop paying taxes be turned over to the government. ...
Robert L. Schulz of Queensbury, N.Y., the founder of both organizations behind the Web site — the We The People Foundation for Constitutional Education and the We The People Congress — posted the court order at the Web site givemeliberty.org, and closed the rest of the site even though he said yesterday that the order did not specify that he do so. He also said he had filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His organization rose to prominence with a series of full-page newspaper ads, starting in 2001, asserting that the government tricks people into paying taxes. The ads solicited donations, which it said were fully tax-deductible.