01 August 2008

The Mad Hatter

The trial upon which I served as a juror in April was concluded recently with sentencing. The local paper covered every "exciting" angle:

Accountant sentenced in tax fraud

By DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
7/31/2008


The Tulsan, who made some unusual claims during his trial, says he was singled out for his political views.


A Tulsa accountant who was found guilty in April of nine felonies for reporting false information on his federal income taxes was sentenced Wednesday to three years and five months in prison.

Robert Steve Miles, 65, received the maximum possible punishment from U.S. District Judge James Payne, who issued a warrant for Miles' arrest earlier in the day after Miles failed to appear for his sentencing hearing.

Miles, who was in the tax-preparation business for about 30 years, was arrested by the IRS at his Tulsa office and was brought into court in handcuffs while wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

He tried to explain his failure to appear earlier in the day by saying that he was surprised that his case was not transferred to the "Cherokee-Wampanoag Supreme Court," as called for in pleadings he filed recently in federal court in Tulsa.

Miles, who represented himself at his April trial, claimed in his closing argument that he was being singled out for prosecution because of his political views. On Wednesday, he said, "I don't believe I have done anything wrong."

At his trial, he periodically managed to get some of his views about government, the courts and the tax system in front of the jury. At various points he seemed to be arguing that tax returns aren't "documents" and that "zero" isn't really a number.

In an April 3 filing, Miles claimed that "any correspondence sent to Robert S. Miles etc. or to a ZIP CODE AREA will be returned and will constitute a direct and deliberate attempt to infringe My religious beliefs and to Expatriate Me and Convert My Sovereign Status to a subject, serf, person and slave and to the secular humanism, commercial religion of government."

At an April 4 hearing, Payne ordered a psychiatric or psychological examination for Miles.

The results of that report were sealed, although Payne wrote in an order filed April 21 that the examining doctor thought Miles was competent to stand trial.

Miles told jurors that he had no intent to violate the law in January 2006 when he mailed his federal income tax returns for the years 1996 through 2004.

On those tax returns, Miles reported that he had "zero" total income or business income.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Snoke said Miles' income from 1996 to 2004 was not exactly clear, but he told the jury that "it certainly wasn't zero."

The judge used a tax loss of $256,316.93 to help arrive at the sentence.

...

I am glad to see that the judge ordered some type of mental evaluation for this guy. It was apparent that he wasn't living 100% of his life in reality.

The trial was a fu¢king travesty. Imagine someone with only a dim grasp of legal procedure and decorum attempting to represent himself. Imagine if every time this person opened his mouth, whether to make an opening statement, cross-examine a witness, or question the court, imagine that this person made the same mistakes and received the court's reprimand. For four days.

Ken Snoke and his staff did a fine job, especially his beautiful young assistant whose sole duty was to place documents entered into evidence upon an image viewer so that the jury could see them. After carefully deliberating and weighing all the evidence, I rendered a verdict of hot as hell and sentenced her to spend three to five days belly-dancing in my dreams.

Next time I get called for jury duty (which will be the third time), I'm showing up naked in the hopes they'll send me home for being crazy.

1 comment:

zakary said...

That's freaking nuts. Zondra has jury duty on the 12th. I had it a few years back and the jacked up thing is, I wanted to get picked for a case! Like I really wanted to be on a jury (not for a case like yours though). We sat in a room and I read People for 3 hours and then they told everyone to go home.

Lame.