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Legal Reality Newsletter – 2 February A. D. 2012


2 February A.D. 2012

Read the ticket before signing.

Sounds simple enough.

Read the ticket before signing.  Front side, back side, third side (if there is one).

Some of the STATEs are figuring out that “we’re” figuring out that they NEVER satisfy Due Process when it comes to Notice.

There is no Notice without the paperwork.  A judge can “tell” the defendant what the charge is until that judge is blue in the face, and nothing about Notice will have been satisfied.  Notice isn’t satisfied without the paperwork.

There’s a basic sequence of events.  First there has to be something actionable.  Then, a charge has to be made.  Then, a charging instrument has to be printed out (from the computer) and signed by the (at least “a”) witness.  (Clerks are not witnesses.  If a clerk is the charging witness, then that clerk can’t get anywhere near that case under the disguise of Custodian of Records, AND there’s some question as to whether the court, itself, is now the charging witness, given that the Clerk is the witness solely as a by-product of employment with the court.  More details at some other time.)  Then, that paperwork has to be served on the defendant “at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner” to as to allow a “meaningful opportunity to respond.”  

As a practical matter, how in the world does anyone enter a responsive plea until one has Notice of what one is charged with having violated?

To enter that plea is to waive Notice.

Where there is no Notice, to pretend that there is is to waive Notice.

To agree to enter that plea, any plea, may also constitute waiver of Notice.

Read the ticket.

Some jurisdictions are now including language in addition to the agreement to appear.  The agreement to appear is the equivalent of a personal recognizance bond.  Some people go into orbit over that thought.  That thought isn’t  worth much more than a passing glance, actually.  Without the personal recognizance bond, the ticketing officer has the authority also to become the arresting officer.  Some would-be defendants play the game that way.  They go to jail for a few days and the matter is dropped.  That’s not what makes good sense to this author, but to each his own.

The additional agreement language may have to do with entering a plea.

Where a form has language that one is not interested in agreeing to, the solution is to “negotiate” that form.  How does one “negotiate” a form?  By using a pen and drawing a line through the part that one isn’t interested in agreeing to.

To attempt to negotiate and to be told, “You can’t do that,” is to get evidence of “adhesion.”  Without the effort to negotiate, there is no “adhesion.”  The instant that negotiations are tried and not permitted, then there’s evidence of “adhesion.”  Where the negotiation is not objected to, then there’s nothing more agreed to than the timely appearance (whether by paperwork or also in person).  (Not agreeing to appear is not sensible. No doubt someone will press this to that limit.  If so, take good notes about what happened and be sure to share that experience.)

Read the ticket.

One does NOT have to agree to enter any plea.  Agreeing to appear is one thing.  Agreeing to enter a plea is completely another.

Read the ticket.  If necessary, “negotiate” that ticket so as to preserve the right of Due Process, starting with service of the paperwork containing the charges alleged.  If one agrees to enter a plea, because that’s the language pre-printed on the (back of) the ticket, the one may very well have waived one of the best defenses going:  violation of Due Process — no Notice.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

Subscribe / unsubscribe :  legal_reality@earthlink.net


Legal Reality Newsletter 25 January A. D. 2012


25 January A.D. 2012

One of the stabilizing influences for the “dollar” has been its use/position as the “world’s currency.”  That is no longer the case.

The nations listed below in this effort to move away from the “dollar” are also chief among the ones who have mounted the greatest political opposition to the “international banking cartel” based in Western Europe.  As more and more nations around the world come to realize the stranglehold intended by the “international banking cartel,” they, too, will move away from the diseased life-blood of that regime, namely the “dollar.”

They will have, ultimately, the exact same fate happen to them as is happening here in “church of United States,” in the event they, too, stay with any “funny money” system.  Should they opt away from the debt-based “currency” concept and back toward the asset-based Currency concept, they’ll avoid what’s about to happen “here,” and they’ll present the greatest, and actually the only, “defense” that exists against the attacks by the “funny money” promoters.

That’s going to take a while.

In the meanwhile, we’ll just see which marketplace activates that “defense” first.  We’ll have one more confirmation of Judgment if the Asian markets move to a Scriptural Money system before we do.  If we’re so blinded that we can’t apply God’s word until we see the other nations doing so, then we’re all the more severely under His Judgment.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

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——– Original Message ——–

Date: Sun, 22 Jan 2012 02:47:26 -0500

India Joins Asian Dollar Exclusion Zone, Will Transact With Iran In Rupees

Two weeks ago we wrote a post that should have made it all too clear that while the US and Europe continue to pretend that all is well, and they are, somehow, solvent, Asia has been smelling the coffee. To wit: “For anyone wondering how the abandonment of the dollar reserve status would look like we have a Hollow Men reference: not with a bang, but a whimper… Or in this case a whole series of bilateral agreements that quietly seeks to remove the US currency as an intermediate. Such as these: “World’s Second (China) And Third Largest (Japan) Economies To Bypass Dollar, Engage In Direct Currency Trade“, “China, Russia Drop Dollar In Bilateral Trade“, “China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System“, “India and Japan sign new $15bn currency swap agreement“, and now this: “Iran, Russia Replace Dollar With Rial, Ruble in Trade, Fars Says.”” Today we add the latest country to join the Asian dollar exclusion zone: “India and Iran have agreed to settle some of their $12 billion annual oil trade in rupees, a government source said on Friday, resorting to the restricted currency after more than a year of payment problems in the face of fresh, tougher U.S. sanctions.” To summarize: Japan, China, Russia, India and Iran: the countries which together account for the bulk of the world’s productivity and combined are among the biggest explorers and producers of energy. And now they all have partial bilateral arrangements, and all of which will very likely expand their bilateral arrangements to multilateral, courtesy of Obama’s foreign relations stance which by pushing the countries into a corner has forced them to find alternative, USD-exclusive, arrangements. But yes, aside from all of the above, the dollar still is the reserve currency… if only in which to make calculations of how many imaginary money one pays in exchange for imaginary ‘developed world’ collateral.

On India’s induction into… www.Zerohedge.com


Legal Reality Newsletter 01/15/ A. D. 2012


15 January A.D. 2012

There may be more to the litigation, and if so, we’ll be able to match these concepts with that “final” ruling on the matter.

The 10th Circuit’s ruling is 100% consistent with our present legal reality.

The problem with these “anti-sharia law” efforts is that they’ve been “sabotaged” from the outset.  They were never intended to prevail.  They were intended solely as an outlet so that the “anti” voice could be slammed into the ground, so as to allow “marketing” on the concept that might not otherwise be possible.

Read the rest of this entry »


Legal Reality: Fwd: Eric Holder, Time to Pay Your Trentadues?


8 January A.D. 2012

Interesting that this information would be found at this site.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

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Legal Reality Newsletter – Next Radio Program


On Wednesday, 11 January 2012, this author will be the guest on America in the Balance on Truth in Focus internet radio from 4 – 5 pm Central time.

www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.php

This is the first time this author will be addressing this particular audience.  Should be a great show.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

Subscribe / unsubscribe :  legal_reality@earthlink.net


Legal Reality Newsletter 11/30/ A. D. 2011


Harmon Taylor makes complex things so easy to understand. That’s why I’ve been getting his free newsletter for years.

 

30 December A.D. 2011

To the list:

Note how a perfectly correct understanding of the origin of the founding principles isn’t enough to understand how to interact with the present “Beast” system.

Baldwin, the minister, and his son, the attorney, are very committed, even rabid, “constitution-ists.”  This author’s brief exchanges with them in the past have been woefully unsuccessful in helping either of them come to terms with our present reality.  This author in no way pretends to be “the” source of information that will “cure” anyone’s “blindness” in this or any other “governmental” matter.  But, we’ll know when God cures the blindness, because the non-sense about the “constitution” will stop being promoted and advocated at least long enough that today’s commercial system is recognized for what it is and dealt with for what it is.

There’s zero question that the “constitution” intended to form a more perfect union for purposes of better preserving a “christian” (whatever that may mean, today) nation independent from any form or source of authority that tended toward tyranny.

Such system depends heavily upon “christian” self-government, with a heavy emphasis on “self,” as in the individual.  Where the individual “governs” himself in a particular line of thought, word, and deed, the community comprised of such individuals is very successfully “governed” via a “constitutional” system of the kind we’ve all been raised to think actually existed and still exists in America.

While a particular emphasis on “freedom” regarding worship of God is, without question, part of the ingredients that went into the mix that formed this nation, it can also be said that “the” purpose in acting on the concept of establishing a national government via a “constitution” was to organize a system by which tyranny was rendered illegal and practically impossible at the national level.

In the effort to prevent tyranny and to render tyranny illegal, there was one principle so overwhelmingly motivating that all others, including “freedom” to worship God, pale in comparison.  That one overriding principle was the issue of Money.  The “States” had “returned to Egypt” by circulating “Bills of Credit” as currency.  It was “the” early form of what passes today as “federal reserve notes.”  It wasn’t an asset or evidence of an asset being used as “money.”  It was a “debt” instrument.  The Founding Fathers recognized “immediately” what that meant.  It meant tyranny in the making.  So they did the unheard of and formed (at least in concept) a system at the national level, i.e., a step above, the “States,” which system rendered the circulation of “Bills of Credit” illegal.

It was a great idea.  As a practical matter, that effort kept “funny money” out of circulation until circa 1965, 1966, when the last vestiges of “silver certificates” were recalled, the silver coins were sucked out of circulation, and the “sandwich tokens” still called “coins” were first circulated.  That was about 170 years’ worth of “freedom” from overt tyranny via the circulation of “funny money,” originally known as “Bills of Credit.”

But, in this monumental effort, the Founding Fathers overlooked the obvious and didn’t nail down the one definition that truly would render tyranny, via taking over the Money system and perverting it into a “funny money” system, illegal and practically impossible.  The Founding Fathers never defined the unit of account.  They never defined “dollar.”  (Iceland is at the stage where they CAN define their “unit of account” in terms of grains of fine silver.  We’ll see if they have the sense and foresight to do so.)

If the Founding Fathers had defined “dollar” as a weight measured in terms of grains of fine silver, then it surely would be that much more impossible for anyone to show up over here and market (successfully) a privately-owned, “debt” instrument system as a substitute for honest weights and measures.  Surely there would have been a “hue and cry” the instant there was a change of any sort in that definition or for what passed as “currency.”  It’s precisely because “dollar” was not defined, in the “constitution,” that the door was left wide open for exactly what we’re dealing with “today.”

Not to worry.  That “oversight” was in no way accidental.  Nothing happens at that level of national leadership independent from the direct intervention of God, Himself.  The Founding Fathers were destined to fail in that extremely noble effort.  We, The Posterity, are the ones on whom has devolved the responsibility of putting that particular brick (back) into the foundation and walls of the “proper” governmental system and structure. 

So, despite the very correct connection between the concept of Biblical principles and the foundation for the “constitution,” which foundation is the Common Law, also known as the Law of the Land, the origin of which is Scripture, there persists to this day, in the teeth of the non-existence of anything even remotely Biblical about that which passes as “currency,” the notion that there exists, today, as we speak, a “constitutional” basis for that which passes as “government” in DC (and in the various STATEhouses).

To make the connection between Scripture and government is to recognize and confirm how everyone knows that there is not any “constitution” “in play,” or in any way relevant, to “governmental” activities at the national level, and, for that matter, at any level.

To understand what Money is and means in Biblical times is to zero in rapidly on one of the greatest confirmations that there is no “constitutional” system active today anywhere in the land, at any level of “government.”  (This reality is not limited to America.  Anywhere there’s “funny money,” there’s tyranny against those people, all controlled by the “banksters.”)

Some want, feverishly, to recognize validity in the original activities that have been marketed to us as sufficient to kick-start the “constitutional” system, based on which false presumption and teachings they then associate some later date to the demise of the “constitutional” system.  Some look to the 1965 time period, and directly after that, during which time the UCC came into existence for the STATEs.  Some look to the time period associated with removing selection of Senators from the STATEs and putting that into the hands of the people.  (That’s hugely significant, for where there are no States, it’s impossible to have a “Union of States.”)  Some look to the time period just before the War of Northern Aggression and the “sine die” adjournment of congress.  All of those lines of discussion miss the point completely, for they all presume into existence that which never was.  The reality is that the “constitutional” effort was flawed from the outset both substantively and procedurally.  It simply never was “admissible evidence of law.”  Where this or that part of the constitution is recognized as evidence of law, it’s because the Supreme Court has so recognized it.  Given that the “constitution” is a package deal, as in “all or nothing,” it follows that where any part is missing, it’s not just that part that’s missing but rather the whole that is missing.

What was the medium of exchange in Biblical times?  Right! Silver (and gold), whether in coined form or in bullion form.  To say silver was to say Money, and to say Money was to say silver.

In America, gold was taken out of circulation via FDR in about, what, 1933, 1935, somewhere in there. (It’s been revived, as confirmed by the “gold clause” cases in the last 1980’s, if memory serves.  Gold is recognized in “this state.”  Silver is not, but gold is.)  Silver was taken out of circulation under Johnson’s administration circa 1965.  “They” had to assassinate JFK to accomplish it, but “they” did assassinate him, and “they” did accomplish it.  As of the end of 1965, there were no more Biblical weights and measures in general circulation as Currency in America.  That which pretended to be “currency” was “funny money.”

Part of the “constitutional” plan is missing. Here, the missing part of focus is the general circulation of gold and silver Coin, and, even more to the point, their exclusive means of extinguishment of debt. 
Because we’re dealing with a “package deal,” where part is missing, the whole is missing.

There has never been a “constitution.”  For the immediate present, for those who just can’t picture the world without a “constitution,” it is sufficient for our present purposes of coming to grips with that system that pretends to have “governmental” authority that one recognize, and not just recognize, but internalize, the connection between Money and Scripture.  If we had a “constitutional” system, right now, today, i.e., if we had a system based upon Biblical principles, then we’d have gold and/or silver Coin in general circulation as our Currency.  Since we have no gold or silver Coin, especially the silver, in general circulation, we are not dealing with any system that looks to the Common Law, i.e., the Law of the Land, i.e., Biblical principles, as its foundational source of authority.

It’s difficult for the “feds” to confess and market and broadcast the difference(s) any more plainly.  Possible, but difficult.

It’s precisely because there is no (Biblical) system of honest weights and measures in general circulation that we know we’re not dealing with a “governmental” system that looks to the Law of the Land.  It’s precisely because there is no (Biblical) system of honest weights and measures in general circulation that we know we’re dealing with a system that looks to the Law of the Sea.  Under a (Biblical) system based on the Law of the Land, to circulate “funny money” as Currency isn’t merely fraud; it’s Treason.  Thus, where no one is going to jail, or worse, for circulating “funny money,” it follows that the system looks to the Law of the Sea, the only source/choice of law that tolerates “funny money.”

May The Lord God Almighty take this opportunity to cure some more cases of “blindness” when it comes to the reality of His Judgments via His “Beast” system, which system exists to devour and to destroy the rebellious.  

It is rebellion against God to use anything other than an honest system of weights and measures in our commercial activity.  We’re going to be stuck in this form and version of rebellion for so long as we continue to kid ourselves that it’s not a problem, much less evidence of rebellion.  We’ve spent our way into this one, and we can spend our way out, IF we’ll make the commitment to doing it God’s way.

Once again, this author applauds those business enterprises that have started allowing their customers, patients, patrons, and clients to extinguish the obligation(s) with honest weights and measures.  To state this once again, it’ll be the Mom and Pop shops, i.e., the family owned and operated business enterprises, that’ll lead this nation through one more of its darkest moments and eras.  Those are the enterprises most able to make that adjustment.

In sum, yes, let there be no confusion or doubt about the connection between the “constitution” and its source of authority.  The “constitution” looked to the Law of the Land, the origin and source for which is Scripture.  Absolutely right.

That being so plainly the case, why is it that it’s still so confusing to so many “constitution-ists” that we do not now have anything any remotely resembling a “constitutional” system, given that what screams at us for our pocketbooks is that which exists, specifically and intentionally, to deny and to defy God when it comes to honest weights and measures?  Individuals who use “funny money” without the slightest care in the world about what they’re really doing, from God’s point of view, are not self-governed individuals.  (To recognize the problem, whether one is in a position to do anything, at all, about it, immediately, hopefully leads to the ink dot on the forehead.  SeeEzekiel 9.  Regarding the apostasy that compels the “Passover”-like Judgment in Ez. 9, see Ez. 8.)

How does any group of people bring any nation into Judgment?  In other words, how have the “banksters” accomplished it?  Brilliantly!  They know Scripture better than we do!  They can see that the nations that were seduced into straying so far from Biblical principles as to commit “rebellion” are Judged by God Almighty, Himself.  All the “banksters” had to do was supply a means for that rebellion; hence, the “funny money.”  The rest has taken care of itself.  

(The additional forms of immorality zealously advocated and promoted through TV and movies aren’t helping, to be sure, but those seem to be accepted already as “individual choices.”  What we use as the medium of exchange is another “individual choice” we must recognize as a “choice” that exists and one that then must be exercised where possible.)

Yes, there’s some (slight) benefit to God’s having blinded us, but here we are, still facing life under tyrannical rule.  Unless we want more life under tyranny, we can no longer depend on that blindness as any form of “benefit.”  Nothing about this change in what we bring to the marketplace as Currency will come from “on high,” because those “on high” are the very people intent on perpetuating the rule via tyranny.  

That’s another way of saying that there are no “political” solutions.  The solutions are commercial, which means “individual,” and we just have to know that the choice exists and that how we “vote” with each transaction really does matter.  We “vote” for the international banking cartel as “king,” along with their system of tyranny with every transaction based on “funny money.”  We “vote” for God as King, and His system of Law, with every transaction based on honest weights and measures.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

Subscribe / unsubscribe :  legal_reality@earthlink.net

 


Legal Reality Newsletter 12/17/ A. D. 2011 – Protected Speech


Subject: Fwd: Fwd: Judge Rules ‘Uncomfortable’ Tweets and Blog Posts Are Protected Speech

17 December A.D. 2011

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December 16, 2011

Judge Rules ‘Uncomfortable’ Tweets and Blog Posts Are Protected Speech

If 18th-century colonists were alive today, U.S. District Judge Roger Titus imagines that they would draw a parallel between public bulletin boards and Twitter and blogs.

Titus, of U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, ruled in an opinion (PDF) yesterday that just as the colonists drafted the First Amendment with those public bulletin boards in mind, the same protections should be afforded to Tweets and other posts online.

A federal grand jury indicted (PDF) William Cassidy in February of one count of interstate stalking, a federal crime. Titus granted Cassidy’s motion to dismiss (PDF) the case, finding that “while Mr. Cassidy’s speech may have inflicted substantial emotional distress, the Government’s Indictment here is directed squarely at protected speech: anonymous, uncomfortable Internet speech addressing religious matters.”

According to Titus’ opinion, the trouble began when Cassidy was introduced in 2007 to the regional leader of a sect of Buddhism based in Poolesville, Md. The leader, known in court papers as A.Z., is an “enthroned tulku,” according to Titus” opinion, meaning she is a leader by lineage within her community. According to the prosecutor’s affidavit, Cassidy claimed to be a tulku when he first met A.Z., but in February 2008, A.Z. learned he was not a tulku and confronted him. Cassidy left and, according to prosecutors, began using Twitter and online posts to “harass” A.Z. and her place of worship.

Subpoenas linked Cassidy to Twitter accounts with thousands of tweets about A.Z. and the place where she practiced. The Tweets were grouped into five basic categories: threats directed at A.Z.; criticism of A.Z. as a religious figure and criticism of her center; derogatory statements directed towards A.Z.; responses to A.Z. and the center; and statements that may or may not be directed towards A.Z.

A.Z. told prosecutors that the Tweets and other online posts made her fear for her safety. Cassidy pleaded not guilty to the charge in May and, represented by Lauren Case and Ebise Bayisa of the Office of the Federal Defender, moved for dismissal in July. He was supported by an amicus brief (PDF) from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group based in San Francisco.

“This case rests on Mr. Cassidy’s sometimes sophomoric, irreverent and obnoxious posts on his own Twitter feed and blog,” his attorneys wrote in the motion. With some limited exceptions that don’t apply, they added, “the Supreme Court has never allowed for criminal liability simply because the protected speech in question offended the listener.”

The government countered (PDF) that that statute was specifically intended to curb “conduct intended to torment people to the point that the victim suffers substantial emotional distress.” There is no constitutionally protected right to harass or intimidate, and the First Amendment provides no shelter for such conduct.” The National Center for Victims of Crime1 and Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center submitted an amicus brief (PDF) in support of the government.

Titus, in granting Cassidy’s motion, wrote that even if A.Z. suffered emotional distress from Cassidy’s Tweets and writing, the government’s indictment wasn’t limited to categories of speech that clearly fall outside of the First Amendment “obscenity, fraud, defamation, true threats, incitement or speech integral to criminal conduct.”

Furthermore, he wrote, A.Z. had the option of not looking at Cassidy’s Tweets or online posts. “Twitter and Blogs are today’s equivalent of a bulletin board that one is free to disregard, in contrast, for example, to e-mails or phone calls directed to a victim.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment. Case said that “what was gratifying in this case was that Judge Titus saw what the case was and what it was not.”

“There are existing statutes that have been around for a long time that deal with constitutionally-unprotected speech. And this case did not involve any of that,” Case said.

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Legal Reality Newsletter 27 November A. D. 2011


27 November A.D. 2011

The greatest number are so quick to criticize.

This follows, apparently, from the presumption of “knowing the law.”

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Legal Reality Newsletter 29 October A. D. 2011


29 October A.D. 2011

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——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Swiss Banks May Pay Billions, Disclose Names
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 15:06:15 -0500

Swiss caught up in commercial law.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-24/swiss-banks-said-ready-to-pay-billions-disclose-customer-names.html

Swiss Banks May Pay Billions, Disclose Names
By David Voreacos, Klaus Wille and Giles Broom -

Swiss banks will probably settle a sweeping U.S. probe of offshore tax evasion by paying billions of dollars and handing over names of thousands of Americans who have secret accounts, according to two people familiar with the matter.

U.S. and Swiss officials are concluding negotiations on a civil settlement amid U.S. criminal probes of 11 financial institutions, including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), suspected of helping American clients hide money from the Internal Revenue Service, according to five people with knowledge of the talks who declined to speak publicly because they are confidential.

Switzerland, the biggest haven for offshore wealth, wants an end to new U.S. probes while preserving its decades-old tradition of bank secrecy, the people said. The U.S. seeks data on Americans who have dodged U.S. taxes and a pledge by Swiss banks to stop helping such clients, according to the people. The Swiss reached accords this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets.

“The Swiss would like to get out of this by paying money, and they’ve done that with other countries,” said tax attorney H. David Rosenbloom of Caplin & Drysdale Chartered in Washington, who isn’t involved in the talks. “For the U.S., it’s not primarily a money question. It’s a matter of making sure the laws apply fairly among taxpayers.”

Final Accord

The Swiss government seeks to outline a final accord for the Foreign Affairs Committee of its Parliament’s upper house on Nov. 10, according to a person familiar with the matter. The number of banks that will pay to resolve the U.S. negotiations may extend beyond the 11 under criminal investigation, the people said.

“We are aiming for an all-encompassing solution that will apply to all the banks,” Finance Minister Eveline Widmer- Schlumpf said in an Oct. 4interview in the Swiss capital Bern. “We don’t want to be confronted with the same issues time and again.”

Under accords this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets, the identity of clients remained secret. The U.S. insists that the Swiss disclose client account data, and the banks may end up handing over data on 5,000 to 10,000 accounts, the people said. A final determination hasn’t been made, they said.

Criminal Charges

The U.S. Justice Department also may bring criminal charges or civil enforcement actions against any of the 11 financial institutions. They could avoid prosecution by separately paying fines, admitting wrongdoing and disclosing data, the people said. On Aug. 30, the Justice Department requested statistical data from the 11 about their U.S. accounts, which the U.S. has received and is analyzing, the people said.

Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, said July 15 that it was a target of U.S. prosecutors. On July 21, seven Credit Suisse bankers were indicted on a charge of conspiring to help U.S. clients evade taxes through secret accounts.

The group of 11 also includes HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), the biggest European bank, Basler Kantonalbank, Wegelin & Co., Zuercher Kantonalbank, and Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER), the people said. Three Israeli banks — Bank Leumi Le-Israel BM (LUMI)Bank Hapoalim BM (POLI), and Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd. (MZTF) — are on the list, as well as Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG and an asset manager, NZB AG, according to the people.

U.S. Crackdown

The U.S. crackdown against offshore tax evasion has led to charges against UBS AG (UBSN), the largest Swiss bank; at least 21 foreign bankers, advisers and attorneys; and at least 36 U.S. taxpayers.

UBS, which isn’t one of the 11 banks now under scrutiny, avoided prosecution in 2009 by paying $780 million, admitting it fostered tax evasion and handing over details on 250 secret accounts. It later disclosed another 4,450 accounts.

UBS made 10.75 billion francs ($12.1 billion) in revenue in the U.S. in 2010, or 34 percent of the group’s total. Credit Suisse made 12.84 billion francs in revenue in the Americas in 2010, or 41 percent of the total. HSBC’s Swiss private bank and Julius Baer declined to disclose information on revenue from U.S. clients. A spokesman for HSBC in Geneva declined to comment on the settlement talks.

Credit Suisse gained 2.4 percent to 24.42 Swiss francs, at 3:09 p.m. in Zurich. Baer was unchanged at 34.70 francs. Basler Kantonalbank and Liechtensteinische Landesbank dropped 0.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Statistical Data

Urs Rohner, chairman of Credit Suisse, last month told newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that the bank has transferred statistical data sought by the U.S. Marc Dosch, a spokesman for the Zurich-based bank, declined to comment further.

Basler Kantonalbank (BSKP) spokesman Michael Buess said it also gave such data to the U.S.

Wegelin & Co. spokeswoman Albena Bjoerck said it will show “Swiss and U.S. authorities that the bank has not breached either Swiss or U.S. law.” The bank is cooperating with authorities “within the scope of Swiss law.”

After a U.S. indictment of two Julius Baer bankers this month, the bank said it “is one of a number of Swiss financial institutions supporting the ongoing tax negotiations between the U.S. and Switzerland” and is cooperating with the U.S. probe. Spokesman Martin Somogyi declined to comment further.

Youval Dichovski, Zurich-based head of internal audit at Bank Leumi Switzerland Ltd., said the bank is cooperating.

Bank Hapoalim Switzerland is complying with its legal and regulatory duties in cooperating with Swiss authorities, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Warszawski. He said the bank “has only a limited number of American clients whose holdings with the bank are very small.” The bank, he said, “is not aware of any violations of U.S. law by the bank or its employees.”

Few Employees

Cyrill Sele, a Vaduz, Liechtenstein-based spokesman for Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG (LLB), said it sent statistical data to the U.S. A man who answered the phone Oct. 20 at NZB said it is closing and has only a few employees.

Zuercher Kantonalbank spokesman Urs Ackermann said the bank was informed in September of the U.S. investigation. A spokesman for Mizrahi Bank had no immediate comment.

The UBS turnover of 4,450 names, in the face of Swiss laws barring most disclosures of client data, set a precedent for the current talks. The U.S. agreed to submit a request for specific accounts under a 1996 tax treaty and a follow-up agreement in 2003. Under that accord, Swiss bank secrecy doesn’t protect accounts if the owner engaged in “tax fraud or the like,” which is a narrower definition of tax evasion than U.S. law provides.

Turned Over Accounts

The Swiss directed UBS to turn over accounts to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration for review before handing them to the IRS. Negotiators are determining how to apply the 1996 tax treaty and one adopted in 2009 that still needs ratification by the U.S. Senate, the people said.

Switzerland is continuing talks with the U.S. authorities on administrative assistance in cases of tax fraud and tax evasion,” said Norbert Baerlocher, spokesman for the Swiss embassy in Washington, in a statement. “Any exchange of client data can occur only within the scope of the current legal system, in accordance with the procedures provided for in the existing or the new double-taxation agreement with the USA.”

The Swiss agreed in March 2009 to meet international standards to avoid being blacklisted as a tax haven by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The London-based Tax Justice Network this month ranked Switzerland at the top of its financial secrecy index.

‘A Big Issue’

“This is a big issue for these banks,” said C. Evan Stewart, an attorney at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP in New York, who isn’t involved in the settlement talks.

“These are no longer small institutions catering to wealthy people in a small part of central Europe,” he said. “These are multinational institutions now that have a reach that’s all over the world. This has a huge impact on the banking system in Switzerland. Another issue is the sovereignty in Switzerland and whether that will be given deference by other governments.”

The IRS has said 30,000 U.S. taxpayers with offshore accounts avoided prosecution since 2009 by entering a limited amnesty program, paying back taxes and saying who helped them hide their accounts from authorities. Hundreds of taxpayers in the program have given information to prosecutors that have helped them build criminal cases against bankers and advisers.

‘Wide Net’

“The DOJ and IRS are casting a wide net as they try to identify Americans guilty of offshore tax evasion,” said Aaron D. Schumacher, a Geneva-based wealth planning attorney, with Withers LLP.

“They obtained a lot of information about various Swiss banks from the participants in the voluntary disclosure programs and that has likely enabled the recent indictments we’ve seen,” he said. “More people than we saw previously have come to us looking to renounce their citizenship.”

Attorney Robert Katzberg, who represents clients in criminal tax cases, said U.S. taxpayers with Swiss accounts don’t understand that the IRS and Justice Department will get a trove of new data on secret accounts.

“There are thousands of Americans, who are the functional equivalent of residents of New Orleans on the eve of Hurricane Katrina, who have no idea that Katrina is about to happen,” said Katzberg, of Kaplan & Katzberg in New York.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey, at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net; Klaus Wille in Zurich atkwille@bloomberg.net; Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net; Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net


Legal Reality Newsletter 27 October A. D. 2011


27 October A.D. 2011

Below is the recent story in the the Houston Chronicle. 

The headline focuses on the investigation of the validity of the data taken via the breath-alcohol test (BAT) van and how much of what the prosecutors knew about potentially tainted evidence.

The details of the story reach the even more significant focus for the student of “the system,” which is the discussion of the trial and appellate rulings that allow the Grand Jury (in Texas) to proceed WITHOUT having prosecutors in the room with them.  This state Grand Jury ordered the prosecutors out of the room; the trial court confirmed their authority to do so; and, the state appellate court upheld the trial court.

Of zero surprise, the Harris County DA is deflecting the investigation into prosecutorial corruption by focusing her comments on the faulty nature of the BAT evidence, which tends to put the blame on the Houston cops (not good politics for any prosecutor to put blame on the cops).  But, if potentially tainted evidence were all that was at issue, why would the Grand Jury subpoena four prosecutors to testify, and, then, why would the Grand Jury have their “supervisors,” i.e., the attorneys that usually “control” the Grand Jury sessions, leave when taking testimony from a Harris County defense lawyer?

This author has been sensitive to destruction of evidence issues and fabrication of evidence issues for, well, let’s call it a long time.  For just one example, if the (federal) Grand Jury in Oklahoma would have exercised its authority, as is plainly exercised by this (state) Grand Jury, then the development of the fabricated-evidence-based cases against McVeigh and Nichols could very easily have taken a different path.  For the present system to function, both the prosecutors and the judicial officers have to want it to.  Here, the judicial oversight of the matter has removed prospectively conflicted attorneys from the Grand Jury’s investigation.

If something develops from this, then it’s likely that a special prosecutor will have to be appointed.  We’ll then watch a dispute over “venue.”  Then, if a case survives all that activity, we’ll see if prosecutors who are charged with playing fast and loose with evidence known to be corrupted can end up in jail.

It’d be but a drop of water in the ocean, but it’d be a step in the right direction.

Harmon L. Taylor
Legal Reality
Dallas, Texas

Subscribe / unsubscribe :  legal_reality@earthlink.net

http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2011/10/grand-jury-calls-4-harris-county-prosecutors/

Grand jury calls 4 Harris County prosecutors

A Harris County grand jury investigating how the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney handled potentially bad DWI evidence subpoenaed four Assistant District Attorneys as part of its ongoing investigation, KTRK-TV (Channel 13) is reporting:

The four are all prosecutors who handled DWI cases since the BAT vans were used.

The grand jury proceedings are secret, but our legal analyst Joel Androphy says it is clear to him grand jurors are trying to figure out when the DA’s Office knew about BAT van maintenance issues and what they did with the information.

Houston Police Department’s BAT van sits off Washington Avenue in 2010. (Holly Dutton / For the Chronicle)

Pat Lykos (Billy Smith II/ Chronicle)

Last Tuesday when defense attorney Brent Mayr, an outspoken critic of the HPD’s mobile breath alcohol-testing vehicles, was called to testify, the grand jury kicked out three senior prosecutors – even threatening to have the bailiff arrest them if they did not leave, according to court records, the Chronicle reported.

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos said yesterday she was considering appealing a court ruling that a grand jury can exclude prosecutors from listening to witnesses testifying in an investigation apparently focused on the Houston Police Department‘s troubled mobile alcohol-testing vehicles.

District Judge Susan Brown, who empaneled the grand jury, refused prosecutors pleas to be present during the testimony, and her ruling was upheld Thursday by the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston.

Although usually known as rubber stamps for prosecutors, grand juries have the authority to initiate investigations in private, but it is rare. Called “runaway,” they meet in secret, have the authority to investigate anything and the power to indict the subjects of their investigations.

– Chronicle reporter Anita Hassan contributed to this report


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