You'll notice that the name of this organization is Freedom Above Fortune, not Freedom Without Fortune or
Freedom Instead of Fortune. Rather, Freedom Above Fortune is an organization dedicated to the concept that
no amount of real or perceived economic prosperity or fortune is worth trading for your freedom. This is not
to say that pursuing economic prosperity, in and of itself, is bad. Rather, it is to say that those who are
willing to sell their freedom and their children's freedom for a few pieces of silver, as Judas did when he
betrayed Jesus Christ, are shortsighted and foolish. If you are willing to sell your freedom for short term
financial security, real or perceived, the willingness to sell your very soul can't be far behind.
Freedom Above Fortune was founded by Joseph R. (Joe) Banister, a former IRS Criminal Investigation Division
Special Agent who learned of serious constitutional questions relating to the federal income tax and the federal
banking and monetary systems. Mr. Banister's expertise in the fields of accounting, finance, taxation, and law
enforcement enabled him to not only understand these issues but realize that he could play a role in bringing
the issues into the public arena for analysis and debate.
Joe Banister: He Challenged The Income Tax And Withholding Laws -- And He Won
Make no mistake: Joe Banister was indicted specifically because he took overt and very public actions that directly challenged the income tax and withholding laws.
In October of 2000, Joe Banister spoke to the employees of CENCAL, a company founded and controlled by Al Thompson. Banister told Thompson's workers that there was no legal authority that established that ordinary Americans, such as them, had to pay federal income taxes on the wages they made at CENCAL. During the meeting, Banister presented sufficient documentary evidence in support of his conclusions. Beginning in July of 2000, Thompson had stopped withholding the taxes from the compensation paid to the employees of CENCAL.
As detailed in one of the criminal counts against Banister, in 2000, Banister also prepared an amended 1998 individual income tax return for Thompson, representing that, per U.S. law, Thompson’s adjusted gross income and taxable income were “0,” (zero) not $66,192 and $42,251 as originally reported.
A former IRS special agent who has become a prominent leader among challengers of the U.S. income tax was acquitted this week on federal charges that he had helped file false tax returns.
Joseph Banister, 42, of San Jose quit the Internal Revenue Service in 1999 after delivering a 95-page memo to his bosses questioning the legality of the income tax law. He has since become a lecturer and expert witness on the tax protest circuit.
A U.S. District Court jury in Sacramento found Banister not guilty Thursday on criminal charges, officials said.
A federal jury has acquitted a former San Jose Internal Revenue Service special agent of helping to prepare false tax returns.
Joseph Banister, 42, whose Web site proclaims, "The Income Tax Is a Hoax, " was found not guilty Thursday of conspiracy and three counts of assisting the filing of false tax returns after a weeklong trial in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge William Shubb in Sacramento.
Banister has advised clients they don't have to file income tax returns on the grounds that the 16th Amendment, which gives the federal government the power to collect income taxes, was not properly ratified. He maintains that only foreign-sourced income is taxable.
Be sure to send an email to Andrew McIntosh and let him know what you think about his fair and balanced article. You may also want to copy his boss just for good measure.
Andrew McIntosh - email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sacramento Bee Customer Service email - email@example.com Contact Sacramento Bee email - firstname.lastname@example.org Ralph Frattura, New Media manager - email@example.com
See all Sacramento Bee email adresses and telephone numbers here.
The trial began on Tuesday, June 14. The charges were
1) Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and
2) Aiding and Abetting in the Preparation of False and Fraudulent Returns.
The government alleged that Banister had impeded and impaired the ascertainment, assessment, and collection of tax, and that he had criminally conspired with Al Thompson in so doing.
The charges were related to Joe's association with Redding businessman, Walter "Al" Thompson, where Joe, as a CPA, prepared amended Form 1040X tax returns for three tax years. The returns were a calculated protest and every effort was made by Al and Joe to adhere to written and verbal guidance they sought and received from the IRS.
Key evidence in the trial were two video tapes. The first tape was about 2 hours in length had been filmed at Cencal Aviation, the business of Walter "Al" Thompson, in July of 2000.
Mr. Thompson had researched the law and concluded that he was not an "employer" as defined within Title 26, the income tax code, nor was he required to withhold money from the paychecks of those who worked for him. He called this meeting so as to inform his 25 employees of this decision to stop withholding from their paychecks, and invited Joe Banister, former IRS CID special agent, to assist him in communicating to the employees.
Napa News - Former IRS agent acquitted on tax charges
SACRAMENTO -- A former IRS special agent who publicly challenged U.S. income tax law has been acquitted on federal charges that he had helped file false tax returns.
Joseph Banister, 42, of San Jose, has become a prominent opponent of the federal income tax since he quit the Internal Revenue Service in 1999 after delivering a 95-page memo to his bosses questioning the law's legality. He has since become a lecturer and expert witness on the tax protest circuit.
Joe Bannister's victory is an excellent thing, and a cause for celebration. But it should not be taken as relevant to any issue of law. As I understand it (while admitting that I am not yet privy to the details of this trial), his defense was essentially based on the willfulness issue-- that is, arguing that he honestly did not recognize a legal duty to do other than he did. Whether or not he was correct in what he maintains are his good-faith beliefs about the law was not argued, or determined, in this case.
Joseph R. Banister, 42, of San Jose, CA has become a hero to the tax protest movement. He resigned from the IRS criminal investigation division in 1999 after he wrote a lengthy report asserting that no law requires the payment of taxes and that Americans are being tricked into paying them. The courts have rejected his theories even though they are correct.
Devvy Kidd gives eyewitness account, tells why government lost their case
As most Americans who get real news from the Internet by now know that Joseph Banister was acquitted by a jury in Federal District Court on June 23, 2005. The complete unsealed indictment can be read here. It is strongly recommended that you read this document to fully understand the seriousness of a federal indictment.
This report was prepared by Joseph R. Banister, who graduated in 1986 from San Jose State University with a
Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. He spent three years at KPMG Peat Marwick on their professional staff as a
senior tax specialist and staff auditor. He then spent nearly two years in the venture capital industry during
which time he became a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of California. Mr. Banister left
public practice as a CPA in 1993 when he accepted appointment as a Special Agent (criminal investigator) in the
Department of the Treasury, IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID). Unable to resolve conflicts between
the way the IRS administered the Federal Income Tax and Mr. Banister's oath of office, he resigned from IRS-CID
on February 25, 1999.