Joseph R. "Joe" Banister

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Update on Form IRS Special Agent Defense Efforts

From : Freedom Above Fortune
Reply-To : jbanister
Sent : Monday, April 18, 2005 11:30 AM
To : list
Subject : Update on Form IRS Special Agent Defense Efforts

Freedom Above Fortune News

Dear Friends:

Undoubtedly timed to coincide with April 15th, Walter “Al” Thompson’s sentencing
occurred on Wednesday, April 13th. Judge William Shubb sentenced Al to 60
months of confinement for charges relating to withholding and an additional 12
months for the charges relating to amended income tax returns, for a total of 72
months incarceration.

It is regrettable that due to Al’s incarceration before and during the trial,
and the hurdles he encountered as he represented himself during the trial, he
had tremendous difficulty in providing the documents and testimony that would
have proven to the jury that he had conducted himself in good faith and with
sincere belief that he was acting in accordance with the law as written.
Contrary to government wishes and prosecution practices, good faith efforts and
sincere beliefs that laws are being followed do not constitute criminal conduct.
Nonetheless, evidence of good faith conduct and sincere belief is of little use
if the jury never sees it or is not presented in a manner geared to an audience
not generally familiar with the subject matter. I must respect Al’s decisions
about how he chose to defend himself against these allegations because such
decisions are intensely personal, such decisions are based on the unique past
experiences of the accused, and such decisions ultimately must be made by the
person being accused. Given such criteria, it should not be surprising that
even though the government has accused us of working in concert with each other,
our decisions as to how to defend ourselves are very different.

The federal tax enforcement apparatus I left behind has seemingly endless
funding and legions of personnel at its disposal. My past experience working
for the federal tax enforcement apparatus has shown me how critical it is to be
well-prepared and provide a detailed and well-documented presentation in a trial
setting. It is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to be well-prepared working
alone when your opposition has such formidable resources and when the audience
(jury) you are speaking to is unfamiliar with the concepts presented. That is
why I have chosen to work with a team of knowledgeable people who are committed
not only to winning my case for me and for my family, but for all Americans who
yearn for just and honest taxation.

My own trial is scheduled for June 14th, 2005 in Sacramento, California. My
legal team and I are spending a great deal of time preparing my defense and we
continue to be encouraged as we gather the evidence and testimony that will
expose the false nature of the charges against me. I have continued to receive
many letters of support, encouragement, and prayers. I am amazed every time I
visit my mail box and read the outpouring of support from people all across the

In my last email announcement on March 7th, I requested that EACH and EVERY
person who supports me consider donating at least $100 to my defense effort. I
began to receive donations resulting from that request, including donations from
many people who had donated previously in answer to prior requests. Supporters
are indeed finding creative ways to put together $100 donations. One supporter
from Illinois is sending a $5.00 bill each week and he encloses various pieces
of legal research with each envelope. Supporters from Virginia send a donation
every couple of weeks for $30 or so. One family from California who has already
given very generous donations in the past gave me $100 in gift certificates to
Outback Steakhouse. A supporter from Georgia routinely sends donations and each
time writes “Thank you for everything that you are doing.” Another supporter
from Washington has also sent multiple donations. Other supporters from Idaho,
New Mexico, Arizona, and many other States banded together and put their
donations in one collective envelope. A couple from the South recently gave me
a rather thick envelope containing 500 $1 bills telling me that they routinely
save $1 bills in a jar and at the end of the year go on a vacation or do
something else fun together but this year they thought the money should be
directed towards my defense effort. I am truly blessed to have people from
around the country thinking about my well-being. I wish I could thank each
person individually for taking your time, talent, and treasure and using it to
help me. Since time is short, I must rely on these one way messages to convey
my heart-felt gratitude.

For those who received my March 7th announcement but have not yet sent a
donation, I REALLY need your help; in fact, I’M COUNTING ON YOU! Although I
have heard back from many incredible people since that last mailing, only a
relatively small percentage of my total email list has responded to date. For
those who have not received my March 7th announcement, you can view it at

Please also know that my legal team has stepped up to the plate, and continues
to do so, by extending billing courtesy to me exceeding $80,000 over the past
several years, as they defended me against the Director of Practice’s disbarment
efforts, the California Board of Accountancy’s attacks, and now the enormous
task of defending me against the IRS’ federal criminal charges. These
government persecutors have endless resources and we do not. However, I can
assure you without hesitation that my legal team has ALWAYS made defending me
JOB #1 and receiving compensation for their services has always taken a back
seat to getting JOB #1 done. Considering the amount of billing courtesy the
Bernhoft firm ( www.bernhoftlaw.com ) has extended to this effort, they are
actually the largest single contributor to this effort to date. But my legal
team is comprised of men and women who do have families and bills of their own
and they cannot absorb alone, nor should they be expected to, the substantial
costs of preparing and trying my case as we enter the “home stretch.” Whether
it be participating in a tug or war game or navigating a large rowboat, the
larger the group bearing the burden, the more likely each individual’s burden
will not be too heavy to bear and the more likely a successful result will be

Over the next two weeks to four weeks, PLEASE set aside whatever you can afford,
and please also speak with friends, neighbors, relatives, and coworkers and ask
them to help my defense effort – financially and spiritually. Perhaps you even
know principled men and women who would contribute more than $100 if they were
provided a brief summary of my efforts on behalf of all Americans who desire
honesty and integrity in taxation. Use this effort as a way to educate other
Americans that may someday sit on a jury in a federal income tax case.

grassroots effort and I am relying on the members of my email list and those who
receive my announcements as forwarded by those email list members. If it will
take longer than two weeks to gather the contributions you think you can gather,
send me a brief letter or post card to let me know that your help is on the way.
As the trial date looms closer, it will be critical for me and my legal team to
concentrate on trial preparation rather than fundraising or wondering how
critical expenses like travel, photocopying, or evidence organization and
retrieval will be paid. Thus, any efforts you can make towards being a
mini-fundraiser for me will not only be very much appreciated but it will be
CRUCIAL to the success of this defense effort. Again, for mailed donations,
send to Joseph Banister Legal Defense Fund, P.O. Box 90239, San Jose, California
95109-4239. For wired donations, Wells Fargo Bank, 4950 Almaden Expressway, San
Jose, California 95118, (408) 979-8530, ABA Routing No. 121042882, For credit
to: Joseph Banister Legal Defense Fund Account # 9176-052125.

I would like to alert you to an article printed about me in a publication called
Fortune Small Business (FSB) Magazine ( www.fortune.com/fortune/smallbusiness/
). As has been the usual case with large media organs and large media
reporters, the article was sensationalized and not very complimentary. I’ve
become used to such treatment given past misquoting, mischaracterization, and
editing practices of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes
II, not to mention the IRS and Department of Justice press releases indicating
that my guilt is a foregone conclusion. The media, like the IRS and U.S.
Department of Justice, is much happier scaring the public than educating them.

-For those who have received this message as a forward from someone else, you
can sign up to receive these messages directly by visiting
www.freedomabovefortune.com and clicking on "Mailing List".

-For those who are unfamiliar with what has transpired to date in this case,
please visit www.freedomabovefortune.com and click on "IRS LOCKOUT UPDATE" or
visit www.joebanister.blogspot.com . You can also find archives of informative
radio shows at www.hearliberty.com .

-My sincere thanks to those who have prayed for the success of our efforts and
contributed to my defense fund. Your continued financial support is enabling me
to illustrate, in detail and in a very public manner, that the IRS does not
prevail against citizens because the agency adheres to the rule of law, but that
the IRS prevails against citizens because the agency ignores the law, twists the
meaning of the law, and overwhelms the citizen with economic and legal burdens.
In a school yard, such tactics are called "BULLYING". In a government setting,
such tactics are called "TYRANNY". This effort is the equivalent of ganging up
on the bully and sending him to reform school where he belongs.

Kind regards,

Joseph R. (Joe) Banister, C.P.A.
Former IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent
www.freedomabovefortune.com www.joebanister.blogspot.com

George Orwell, 1984:

"You are a slow learner, Winston," said O'Brien gently.

"How can I help it?" he blubbered. "How can I help seeing what is in front of my
eyes? Two and two are four."

"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three.
Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to
become sane."

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