Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tax activist gets his wish By: BRIAN CALLAWAY (Wed, Mar/02/2005)
Abington -

For years, Larken Rose has chosen not to pay federal income taxes and challenged the government to do something about it - his Web site even includes a letter that starts: "Dear Federal Government, PLEASE PROSECUTE ME."

That wish has finally been granted.

Rose and his wife, Tessa David Rose, were indicted last week by the U.S. Attorney's Office for failing to file income tax returns over a five-year period. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and a fine of $125,000.

Rose, 36, said this week he was excited about a trial because it could give him the chance to expose the federal income tax system as "the largest fraud in history."
"We're ready for it," the Abington resident said. "Of course, it's a source of stress anytime you have a superpower wanting to put you in a cage. But we've known for years that they weren't going to take kindly to us."

The Roses are the latest local residents to run afoul of law enforcement for their beliefs that the federal income tax doesn't apply to most citizens. Only a few months ago, Arthur Farnsworth of West Rockhill - who ran as a Libertarian for Bucks County commissioner in 2003 and for Congress in 2004, basing his campaign on his opposition to the tax system - was indicted on charges of evading tax payments on more than $221,000 in income since 1998.

Arguments against the federal income tax have become more prominent in recent years, with opponents of the system offering a number or reasons why the tax is unconstitutional or should only be narrowly applied.

Rose - who has a Web site and distributes videos detailing his beliefs - argues that most Americans don't have income that is subject to taxation. When the tax system was implemented, he said, it was only meant to apply to income earned from things like foreign trade, not domestic work.

Rose and his wife run a medical transcription business. Since they don't operate internationally, he said, none of the money they've earned from it is subject to the income tax. According to court documents, the Roses made more than $500,000 from 1998 to 2002. An arraignment in the case is expected within the next week or so.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Floyd J. Miller said this week that a jury would ultimately decide the merits of the Roses' position.

But Miller did say, "Based on the law as I understand it, I think the overwhelming authority is that he's wrong." Others, though, aren't ready to take the government's word for it.

Farnsworth, who's free on bail, said the Roses could expect support from others who think the income tax is being improperly applied. Since he was indicted last year, Farnsworth said, people - including Larken Rose - have helped raise money for him and offered advice and shared their own experiences with him.

"There is a large number of fellow patriots who are knowledgeable about the income tax fraud and who are willing to go out on a limb to do something about it," he said.
Farnsworth, who's already planning another run for Congress in 2006, has filed a motion to dismiss his case, arguing that federal courts don't have criminal jurisdiction over internal revenue matters. But he said he expects that motion to be defeated, and for his trial to begin next month.

But like Rose, he also said he's not worried about the outcome of that trial, saying he is "quite confident" his views will be vindicated.

Brian Callaway can be reached at 215-345-3060 or

Holland man says IRS is real criminalBy BARBARA ORTUTAYBucks County Courier Times

Ask Bob Graham if refusing to pay his taxes was worth 31 months in jail and 18 years of nightmares that followed and he'll tell you yes.

He'll also tell you it was one of the most horrendous experiences of his life.

"I am an American. I am proud of what I did," said Graham, 74. The Holland resident says the IRS, not those who don't pay taxes, is committing income tax fraud. And because of this, he is confident Larken and Tessa Rose have a case. The U.S. Attorney's Office indicted the couple last week for failing to file their income tax returns for five years.

Graham plans to attend the couple's trial if his health permits. (He has already sent a letter to the judge asking to videotape the proceedings, saying he wants to see "justice in action.")

"I think the government is going to lose this one so bad," he said. "Unless, of course, they put two or three plants on the jury."

Graham said the jury found him not guilty of the charges the Roses are facing, namely, "willful failure to file" income taxes. If that had been the only charge he was facing, he would not have gone to prison, he said.
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Graham was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the IRS in the 1980s. To Graham, the government asking Americans to pay income taxes is large-scale theft. He called the IRS "the most despicable people on Earth."

"I wouldn't work for the IRS if my life depended on it," he said.

The IRS, Graham said, is stealing from the American people. He said the government, not the Roses, is wrong.

Graham said he is not a Libertarian, a party commonly associated with an unwillingness to pay taxes.

"I don't think there is anyone involved in this whole movement who doesn't want to pay his share," he said.

The question for the jury, Graham said, is deciding who committed a crime - the government or the Roses.

"Somebody is wrong," Graham said. "If they find the Larken Roses of this country not guilty, they are going to have to change the law."

Barbara Ortutay can be reached at 215-949-4189 or
March 2, 2005 5:18 AM
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