Wednesday, June 27, 2012

U.S. v. Meredith, No. 05-50452 (6-26-12) (M. Smith with Kleinfeld and Marbley, Sr. D.J.).
Crime can be taxing, especially if the defendants are engaged in schemes to avoid paying state and federal taxes. This was the case here. The defendants were charged and convicted of conspiracy, fraud, passport fraud, false representation of Social Security numbers, and failure to file income taxes. They ran a series of seminars and lectures, and published books, on how to avoid paying taxes through various schemes. The 9th rejected their First Amendment challenge, reasoning that talking about how bad the income tax is one thing; actively setting up measures to hide income was another. Their actions were not just advocacy. The 9th also rejected the contention that the jury instructions were erroneous, and that the conspiracy was flawed because one of the objects was the commission of misdemeanor offenses. There was sufficient evidence to support the convictions. The 9th did remand for resentencing on one defendant for an issue on restitution.


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