Here is some rare good news. In the past we have covered the case of Kent Hovind. Briefly, Hovind is already in jail on tax and financial charges, including the ridiculous charge of “structuring.”* He was being tried a second time on some new charges. He may or may not be technically guilty of some crime, it’s too esoteric to dig into, but the charges against him are gratuitous as is the potential penalty. The Feds should have better things to do than go after harmless thought criminals like Kent Hovind.
In the initial second trial, Hovind was found guilty on some contempt of court charges but the jury hung (reportedly 11-1) on the other charges. This was the new trial on the unresolved charges. The link above covers the details pretty well. It is from Forbes and the author is clearly skeptical of Hovind and his claims, but I thought it covered the facts of the case well. The charges were dismissed “without prejudice,” so the Feds can refile them later if they want to.
In this case I’m rooting for Hovind not because I understand all the technical legal issues involved, but because of the overall picture. Whatever Kent Hovind may or may not be, he isn’t just a deadbeat who wanted to avoid taxes because he is greedy. He appears to sincerely believe that he didn’t owe any taxes because he believed he was running a ministry. People like Hovind do not belong in jail. He is not a menace to society and jailing him and a full bore prosecution is a massive waste of taxpayer resources.
*”Structuring” is when you deposit or move money in smaller than reportable amounts so as to avoid reporting. In other words, common sense. If I had that kind of money to move around, I would be tempted to move it in less than reportable amounts just to stick a thumb in the eye of the nosy busybody Feds who don’t need to know what I do with my money if I’m not committing a crime. Structuring is one of those “crimes” that isn’t really in and of itself a crime, but is something that can be used to facilitate or hide a crime. There shouldn’t be any crimes that aren’t really crimes unless they are actually pre-crime or post-crime (a way to conceptualize them) that facilitate real crimes such as embezzlement, and not wanting the Feds to know your business if you haven’t committed a crime is not a crime.