A Possible Ending for the IRS Criminal Investigation of Ronald Weinland

This post is part of a series discussing IRS criminal investigations in general and possible outcomes. It must be emphasized that particulars to Ronald Weinland’s case are speculative. The existence of the IRS criminal investigation does not mean that Weinland is guilty of any crime — that can only be determined in a court of law.  However, it must be recognized that Weinland exists within a unique group.  According to this excerpt from some training material:

The Government does not detect most tax crimes; perhaps more counter-intuitive, the Government does not prosecute most tax crimes it detects. The Government has a limited budget for investigating and prosecuting tax crimes. Throughout the United States, in any given year, on average less than 4,000 tax crimes will be prosecuted. Many of these tax crimes are prosecuted as adjuncts to prosecutions for other offenses (such as drug offenses or money laundering). So, there will be less (significantly less) than 2,000 pure tax prosecutions a year.

Once IRS Criminal Investigation accept a case for someone suspected of tax evasion, the investigation will be focused to prove the three elements necessary for a criminal conviction (IRM 9.1.3.3.2.2):

  1. tax deficiency (has to owe taxes),
  2. affirmative actions of evasion (did something to evade paying taxes), and
  3. willfulness (knew what was being done was illegal).
Weinland's Motion to Quash IRS Summonses

Weinland's Motion to Quash

Some investigations are conducted using grand juries which can issue subpoenas. The alternative is an administrative investigation which is conducted by an IRS special agent. This appears to be the case here as evidenced by the administrative summonses issued for Weinland’s financial records which Weinland moved to quash (PDF files). The advantage of an administrative investigation for the IRS is that the evidence produced can be used in assessing civil penalties while evidence produced by a grand jury cannot be used for that purpose.  The disadvantage is that administrative summonses are not automatically enforced as are subpoenas.

There are various methods of proof including looking at the investigation target’s assets and expenditures as compared to reported income. In addition to administrative summonses to obtain financial records, IRS CI can use other standard investigative techniques such as surveillance and interviewing witnesses. According to an IRS Special Agent: “This pursuit has involved questioning witnesses at all levels of society, examining offshore records, conducting search warrants, performing surveillances, analyzing tax returns and bank records, traveling to foreign countries, reconstructing shredded documents, and conducting trash runs.”

IRS criminal investigations are typically quite lengthy. The average is 412 days or about 14 months. But this average length would include the easy cases where the target folds or makes damning admissions when confronted by the IRS. Since Weinland has lawyered up, I suspect the investigation will take longer, perhaps two years. Someone convicted of a criminal tax violation wrote: “It was 3 ½ years from my first meeting with CID to the day I was sentenced.”  (Hmm, a 3 ½ year period — sounds familiar.)

There are statutes of limitations for various tax code violations which set a time limit after which legal proceedings in court can no longer be initiated.  A three-year limitation applies for some offenses and for others six years, which is the case for tax evasion. The statute of limitations clock begins on the latter of the required filing date (typically April 15) or the actual filing date if later than that.  The clock restarts if an amended return is filed later. A 3-year statute of limitations for tax year 2004 had already expired before the investigation started, so it must be for a crime with a 6-year statute of limitations such as tax evasion.

The statute of limitations tor tax evasion for the tax  year 2004 expires no sooner than 6 years after the April 15, 2005 filing date or in April of 2011. However, the statute of limitations clock stops ticking for Ron whenever he is out of the country. As much as Ron travels overseas it could be late in 2011 before an indictment would be needed to beat the statute of limitation. And should Weinland flee prosecution, the clock stops ticking until he is captured. Once a complaint is filed with the court, the statute of limitations is extended at least 9 months past the date of filing. Conceivably, the trial might not start before Weinland is not killed in the streets of Jerusalem and not resurrected at Christ’s return on Pentecost of 2012.

Based on Weinland’s statements in his sermon of July 5, 2008 about spiritual battles and Satan lashing back along with the issue dates marked on the summonses beginning the following week, I suspect that the investigation began in May or June of last year and that the IRS confronted him during the week following his “50th Truth” sermon of June 28, 2008. With a two-year estimate for the investigation, the IRS Special Agent would write up a report about a year from now. Several months would be spent reviewing the case within the IRS including reviews by the Special Agent’s supervisor and IRS Tax Counsel. An additional review will take place because Weinland is a member of the clergy. During the IRS internal review, the taxpayer may be offered a conference to indicate why he should not be prosecuted. I hope this would not happen, as I personally view Weinland as a flight risk. He could flee to Germany or another foreign country as he’s suggested. Or he could have one of his deluded followers in North America hide him out.

After the IRS review, the case is referred to the Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax division for review. After DoJ Criminal Tax reviews the case and accepts it, it is referred to the US Attorney in the federal court district where the prosecution would take place (probably the Eastern District of Kentucky). Should the US Attorney decide to prosecute, then a grand jury must return an indictment for a felony charge before a trial can proceed.

Typically a trial is conducted with a jury as a trier of fact which must return a unanimous decision for a conviction.

Should a conviction be obtained, then a sentence must be determined. The penalty for each violation can be as high as 5 years plus a fine of $100,000. Since each tax year is considered a separate violation, Weinland’s sentence if convicted could be as high as 20 years plus a fine of $400,000, and he also would be expected to pay the costs of prosecution. Since Weinland has no prior felony conviction as far as I know, his sentence could be a fraction of that depending on how much tax was actually evaded.  Under the sentencing guidelines, he could be sentenced to between 21 and 27 months if the amount of tax evaded is $80,000.

Here’s a possible speculated timeline (but not a prophetic one) for the investigation of Ronald Weinland:

  • January, 2008: A civil tax audit of Weinland’s 2006 taxes begins. This audit finds irregularities and is expanded to include tax years beginning with 2004 and eventually a referral to IRS CI is made.
  • May, 2008: IRS Criminal Investigation accepts the case for investigation.
  • June 30, 2008: IRS CI confronts Weinland, enjoining the spiritual battle.
  • July 5, 2008: Weinland speaks of Satan lashing out, and great spiritual battles.
  • July 8-21, 2008: Twelve administrative summonses are issued to third parties for Ron’s, Laura’s,  and The Church of God Inc’s financial records.
  • July 29, 2008: Weinland files a motion to quash the administrative summonses.
  • September 2008: The motion to quash is settled. The IRS agrees to drop their request for financial records for transactions after 2007, and Weinland agrees to withdraw his motion to quash the summonses.
  • Summer, 2010: The investigation is concluded and IRS CI generates a case report.  This report undergoes a review within the IRS.
  • Fall, 2010: After  the IRS’s internal review, Weinland’s case is referred for prosecution to the DoJ Criminal Tax division.
  • Winter, 2010-11: Criminal Tax refers the case to James Zerhusen, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
  • Spring, 2011: An indictment is obtained. Weinland is arrested and arraigned. The prosecutor persuades the judge that Weinland is a flight risk and he is required to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet as a condition of granting bail.
  • Fall, 2011: Weinland goes on trial. COG-PKG members pack the courtroom.  Weinland’s attempt to delay the procedings by taking a page from HWA’s 1979 playbook and holding religious services in the courtroom are not tolerated by the judge.  Weinland’s Witness Powers are ineffective against the prosecution witnesses who leave the courtroom un-singed and with their insides intact. Weinland is convicted and sentenced.
  • Winter, 2011: Weinland delivers his last sermon before reporting to prison. He comes up with a new prophetic scenario to allow him to resume operations after his sentence is over. While Ron is in prison, Laura Weinland exercises her office as Prophetess over the church. Ron gives her instructions during prison visits to be relayed to Johnny Harrell, Wayne Matthews, and Terry Wrozek who are to deliver the sermons in rotation so that no one person can take over the church.
  • May 23, 2012: Weinland is not killed in the streets of Jerusalem
  • May 27, 2012: Christ does not return.
  • Winter,2013: Weinland completes serving his sentence, and comes up with the next prophetic timeline featuring himself and the Mrs. prominently as the Two Witnesses.

Again, it should be emphasized that this discussion is speculative. (The only dates for events and non-events mentioned of which I am certain are July through September 2008 and May 2012) The case could be dropped at numerous stages along the way: internally by the IRS or within the DoJ including by the US attorney. Should the US Attorney decide to prosecute, an indictment must be issued by a grand jury. All this before even going to trial, at which a jury must unanimously determine his guilt.

At a criminal trial Weinland enjoys a presumption of innocence when it comes to being found legally guilty. A jury must be unanimously convinced of his guilt. With the evidence I’ve seen (actually none) I would have to find Ron legally “not guilty” were I a juror on his case. (But I would prefer the terminology “not proven guilty”.) Then again, there would be quite a bit of evidence I’ve not seen were the case to actually be brought to trial.

Since I’m an interested observer rather than a juror, I can say that I see it as entirely plausible that he is guilty. I base this on various statements by Weinland himself including the admitted existence of a Swiss bank account (even though that in itself is not illegal) and his co-mingling of personal and church expenses on his credit card.  I also consider it plausible based on his arrogance when confronted with the $381,000 cost of his mansion — “I could have spent more”.

I just hope for the benefit of potential followers that if Weinland is guilty he will be convicted and receive a lengthy sentence. As far as his current followers, they will rally around him as Armstrong’s followers did during the 1979 receivership crisis with WCG. I imagine they would pack the courtroom and glare at any witness the government puts up to testify against him. At one time, I hoped the court would not impose a fine on Weinland, as it would ultimately be paid by his followers.  But in reconsidering, I think that would be a better place for their money than to finance the next version of his prophetic delusions and suck in yet more followers.

Ron wouldn’t be breathing any fire on the prosecutors or their witnesses despite their efforts to injure the end-time Witness of Revelation 11. Just as I still have not yet died speedily from the inside to fulfill the curse he placed on me back in December.

Tags:

18 Comments

  • Whisper says:

    One would hope that a “real” Witness of God would indeed be immune to any mortal harm unless God so dictated that his Witness be harmed. Jesus could not IMO be harmed in the least until God so allowed it. Moses stood in the throne room of the most powerful state in the Middle East and was allowed to walk around doing his own will in disagreement with that states powerful leader.
    We mock Ron, others deride him, still yet the IRS forms cases against him. Seeing as we are in the final tribulation should not Ron be immune of such. Not just the effects but of the attacks at all? After all he is Gods one chosen prophet and witness for the End Times.
    When does Ron get elevated to the world stage as speaker and teacher to all mankind? When do all the detractors and mockers die off? When do all the COG splinter cell leaders kack! Why has Gods one and only Witness Spokesman and End Time Prophet not been given the reigns of oration to the world? Running a shoe-string ministry over a single air-wave / down-load is a rather poor expression of the all-mighty Gods one and only Prophet, the very last one to ever be to the world.
    We are now working on our 8th month of 42, or 19% of the total time allowed and still no recognition for the One and Only Prophet of God. That’s 19% of the total of the tribulation itself, not just Ron’s total ministry.
    One would think something would happen, something rather awe inspiring and shocking like was supposed to happen upon the opening of the 7th seal.
    Nearly 1/5th of the total tribulation has gone by and nothing has happened?
    Why form a tribulation where nothing happens? I was thinking that the tribulation would itself, all 3-1/2 years, be awe inspiring events and 100% correct prophecy from a Prophet.
    But nothing is happening.
    The economic thunder / tumpet is a rather poor example.
    If we are to be shown Gods true wonder and understand that Ron is his True and Only Prophet then there sould be miracles! Even horrible and deadly ones. How are people to turn to Gods Final Witness is nothing happens and all his prophecies turn to dust?
    Come on Ron, one truely awe-inspiring God Given prophecy should do it! Prophecy the exact date of the Lincoln Memorial imploding or the exact hour of all the ships in the Indian Ocean disapearing below the waves all at once. Something un-escapable and of such awe inspiring phrophetic power that your Prophet hood will be un-deniable.

  • Dill Weed says:

    It would be satisfying to see Ron go to prison. It probably wouldn’t end his ministry. It might give him a martyr’s boost. I think that would be short lived.

    T eye-eye-eye-m is not on Ron’s side. Nope, it aint. T eye-eye-eye-m is not on Ron’s side. Nope, it ain’t.

    Ron has put everything on May 2012 and the Great Trib before it. Happily, things aren’t turning out that way.

    Soon, Ron will have to explain away all his previous failed claims. I don’t think PKG survives this implosion unless it is a small group meeting in the Weinland’s living room somewhere. Even then, those visitors might resent that $350,000 house.

    Ron will have a bigger hill to get over than Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Ted Haggard.

    It will soon be over for Ron. He knows it is coming. I think he’s going to…

    take the money and run, oh-oh-oh, take the money and run, woo-woo-woo, take the money and run….

    Dill Weed

  • jack635 says:

    Weinland completes serving his sentence, and comes up with the next prophetic timeline

    If he does six months in prison he could use the” silence in heaven for about half an hour” to explain that his 6 month jail term was foretold in the bible. Therefore being in jail for half a year silenced the prophet’s voice and delayed Jesus by half a year. Or during that half an hour of silence Ron’s god reorganized his daytimer, producing the new and improved timeline which shall never be changed to test us again.

    whisper said:The economic thunder / tumpet is a rather poor example
    From what I have seen in my lifetime, there is an economic thunder every ten years or so. Once we get out of this recession, we should get another one around 2020ish.

    As for Ron going to jail. It will give him lots of time to write another book. Maybe all his IRS woes are from writing his two books, putting a price tag on them, and not declaring it as income. He says the books are free but why do they have a price tag on them?

  • Jacob says:

    Whisperer, you wrote,

    “When does Ron get elevated to the world stage as speaker and teacher to all mankind?” Maybe he doesn’t.

    “When do all the detractors and mockers die off?” Maybe they don’t!

    “When do all the COG splinter cell leaders kack!” Maybe this is not God’s intent.

    “Why has Gods one and only Witness Spokesman and End Time Prophet not been given the reigns of oration to the world?” If God announced his coming and everyone on earth believed and knew that his return was to be on May 27, 2012, which Ron proclaims, then 2 Peter 3:10 would be invalid.

    Maybe were viewing all of these things in the wrong light.

    Maybe the “Great Tribulation” should be referred as a “Great Spiritual Tribulation” which man has fallen away from his creator. Maybe the transcription is wrong. God destroyed the earth by a flood during the time of Noah, because of mans destructiveness and his lack of desiring to have a relationship, thus rejecting his creator.

    A lot of what Ron proclaims does not add up.

    In 2 Peter, if Christ returns as a theif in the night, that would indicate that man did not know the exact timing of his return. And, once the word gets out that Christ has returned, and is once again on earth, many will still be in disbelief and will question whether the return is accurate and true. This would indicate that the message from Ron has not been valid or heard by the masses. So, if we have such physical destruction that billions of people are to die before the return of Christ, then the return of Christ should be welcomed, but the scripture indicates something different. The majority of the people have no idea that the event of Christ return has occurred. Weinland would have us believe something quite different. Weinland wants us to believe that God wants to save the world and will ultimately save millions and millions of people who will repent and come into his organization. God didn’t save millions and millions of people during the time of Noah and the flood. God only saved one family, destroying the rest of mankind. What makes this end-time any different?

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    Genesis 8:21

    “He says the books are free but why do they have a price tag on them?” Ron claims that a price tag is to allow books to be distributed via amazon.com. However, he took the effort to set up a legal entity “the-end.com Inc” to which the copyrights for his books are registered. I wonder if that legal entity gets a royalty for every book that’s printed whether sold or given away. IIRC, Ron brags that over 1/2 million have been printed.

  • jack635 says:

    I wonder if that legal entity gets a royalty for every book that’s printed whether sold or given away.

    I wonder too. Ron did say he was “comingling expenses”. Preachers always seem to have money problems.

  • Mark says:

    Ronald Weinland has jumped the shark.

  • Kirrily XPKG says:

    I remember now, it was either during the Feast last year, or the time when I was baptised in Jan 08 when they were over here, that Ron said from the pulpit that people were bagging them because Laura had some diamond rings.

    Ron said that they had purchased these rings because they would be easy to trade with during the tribulation.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    That was during his LGD sermon. Does Laura actually wear all the rings? Isn’t it wonderful when your prophetic worldview demands that you have nice things. Wonder if the rings were paid for before-tax or after-tax.

  • Kirrily XPKG says:

    I didn’t really notice actually, not really into jewellry (I know, what’s wrong with me! I am a girl for goodness sake!) 🙂

  • Whisper says:

    Buying rings for “tribulation tradings purposes”?????
    Hey, that’s pretty smart for a End Time Prophet, ay what?
    Even more “smart” for a Witness of God would be buying food for the hungry, clothing the poor, teaching the “good news” and possibly donating $$ to other ministries of good humanly intent…
    Nah, to mainstream. Better to preach the “END” and buy goodies for oneself with ones tithes…

  • Mark says:

    “Ron said that they had purchased these rings because they would be easy to trade with during the tribulation.”

    These preachers are all the same, aren’t they? Justifying their lavish spending as doing God’s work. Once again, I will say, the diamonds on her finger were a year’s worth of tithes from a follower. Still think your tithes went to preach the gospel? Nah- they went into putting diamonds on the Silent Witness’ fingers.

  • jack635 says:

    Why would a starving survivor want to trade some of his food for a diamond? You can’t eat diamonds.

  • Dill Weed says:

    The Two Witnesses are going to pawn jewlry during the Great Trib? How about turning stones into loaves and roasting lambs by exhalation?

    The Two most powerful prophets ever pawning jewlery. You never get full price! And remember people are going to be throwing their goald and silver into the streets! Grrr!

    Dill Weed

  • Dill Weed says:

    Sorry, I meant “pompous exhalations”

    Dill

  • Mark says:

    “How about turning stones into loaves and roasting lambs by exhalation?”

    Exactly. They are supposed to be able to call fire down from heaven, but God can’t take care of their daily food needs so they need jewelry to pawn? I thought because they won’t have the mark of the beast, they won’t be able to buy and sell anyway, not matter what their currency is.

    Don’t worry, though, it isn’t just diamonds that they are hoarding. They have cash, piles of it, in various bank accounts all over the world. They will flee to their place of safety before 2012 and live out their retirement years on the money from their tithe slaves.

  • todd says:

    MKE,
    have you read any of the news about the U.S. suing over the Swiss bank accounts?
    It appears that they’ve won and are collecting evidence. One guy has plead guilty so far.
    I wonder if RW’s name is included in the list.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    As I understand it, this settlement applies only to US holders of accounts in UBS, and only those who opened their accounts through a US branch. I don’t think it applies to people who traveled to Switzerland to open their accounts.