SYNOPSIS: Rare acknowlegement of aquittal -- possibly due to concerted effort to paint S.A.P. Fellowship as the scapegoat. See related article.
RELATED ARTICLE: Reasonable Action ISS # 206 entitled GABE relates the distorted image advanced by both defense and prosecution.
Associated Press -- FAIRBANKS
A jury recently acquitted a man of income tax evasion charges after he claimed he did not believe he needed to pay federal income taxes.
Gabriel Scott faced a maximum of 10 years in jail and a $200,000 fine if convicted of the felonies. He was acquitted in July. Scott's federally appointed attorney told the jurors in
U.S. District Court that the sheet metal worker was bamboozled by a national tax-protest organization that convinced him he did not owe taxes, the attorney said.
A federal grand jury had indicted Scott in April on two counts of income-tax evasion for 1989 and 1990. Tax officials estimated that Scott owed the IRS $15,000 in back taxes.
Sue-Ellen Tatter, an assistant federal public defender said Scott subscribed to information published by Save A Patriot, a Maryland based tax-protest group (sic). [Editor's note: Save-A-Patriot is *not* a "tax-protest" group.]
To find Scott criminally negligent, the jury would have needed to believe he did not pay his taxes even though he knew he should.
He listened to these people and he genuinely believed what they had to offer, Tatter said.
Prosecutor Andrew Kahl said Scott was aware he should pay, and said the federal government had been pursuing Scott through civil litigation for several years to recoup back taxes.
Scott has not filed a return since 1978, and the IRS will continue to pursue Scott in civil court for the money, Kahl said.