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January 20, 2007

Situation in Brown Tax Evasion Case Uncertain


By Mark Anderson


As last week’s American Free Press went to press, AFP learned that circumstances surrounding the New Hampshire couple faced with tax evasion charges were changing constantly.


The reports of this matter in The Union Leader, other New Hampshire news media and The Boston Globe—most of which are running variations of the same Associated Press story—all are using the stark verbal imagery that resident Ed Brown is “holed up” in his rural Plainfield, N.H. home, or some say “fortress,” and that he will not leave his 110-acre, solar-powered homestead, despite his conviction for federal income tax evasion on Jan. 18 in federal court in Concord.


The Associated Press article in The Union Leader newspaper, to which a Leader staffer contributed information, couldn’t resist the highly charged word “compound,” which conceivably could create a bunker mentality in the minds of readers and may quell public outrage if federal agents ever decide to forcibly enter Brown’s home to arrest him.


As the article noted: “A jury decided that the Browns plotted to hide their income and avoid taxes on Elaine Brown’s income of $1.9 million between 1996 and 2003. Over 10 years, they also used $215,890 of postal money orders broken into increments just below the reporting threshold to pay for their hilltop compound and for Elaine Brown’s dental offices.”


Repeated attempts by AFP to reach Brown directly were not successful.


Mr. Brown, according to some news accounts, is armed and joined by friends and supporters while expecting a federal ambush of his home. However, a U.S. Marshal’s office spokesman in New Hampshire, Stephen Monier, told AFP and other news outlets, as recently as Friday, Jan. 19, that there was no plan as of that date to enter the property and arrest Mr. Brown.


Monier and members of his staff say they have had continued phone conversations with Mr. Brown. Months likely will pass before the Browns are sentenced. U.S. Marshals have to decide how to seize the Browns’ assets, possibly including their home, as the national media noted.


According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Morse, Mr. Brown violated his bail conditions and is in contempt of court, adding that he understands Mr. Brown would rather die than serve time in prison.  Notably, Morse said he hopes Mr. Brown decides not to end this matter in a way that harms either him or his wife, “or anyone else involved in bringing this matter to justice,” as he told the national media. Mr. Brown’s wife, Elaine, was convicted Jan. 18 as well. Both are supposed to be sentenced April 24 for not paying income taxes since 1996.


The government claims the Browns owe $625,000 in back taxes. Most of the couple’s income came from Mrs. Brown’s oral surgery business. Mr. Brown is a retired exterminator.


The Browns have gone their separate ways. Partially at the urging of U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe, and supposedly due to her own choice, Mrs. Brown did not return home and is instead staying at her son’s house in a neighboring state after attending court to hear the conviction. Mr. Brown had been in court with Mrs. Brown Jan. 9-11 but stopped attending on the grounds that the process seemed like a “kangaroo court” in which Judge McAuliffe obstructed him from bringing in the evidence and/or witnesses to argue his point that there is no law requiring payment of an unapportioned direct tax, such as the federal income tax, on the labor of American workers, including he and his wife.


As AFP’s last report noted, the judge’s decision to disallow evidence and witnesses for the defendants—along with his notes to the jury that he would not allow Mr. Brown to try and persuade the jurors on the validity of his claims that there is no law requiring payment of income tax on labor—are examples cited by those in the national movement to pass ballot initiatives to reign in judicial corruption. These advocates say it is just such an apparent violation of due process that creates the need for these initiatives.


Citing a new twist in this case, a recent issue of the Globe noted:


“Although federal agents seized more than 30 weapons from the Brown house in May, Ed Brown said some weapons were left on the property. Brown said he expects more supporters to come to the house within the next few days.”


As reported in AFP issue 5 for 2007, they are charged with “conspiring to evade taxes, conspiring to disguise large financial transactions, and disguising large transactions.”


Filmmaker Aaron Russo’s America: From Freedom to Fascism documentary interviews a number of former IRS agents and other authoritative people who say that the powers that be, when asked to provide a copy of the law (such as an enabling statute) that requires American workers to pay federal income tax on their wages, come up empty-handed. Russo’s view is that the income tax only applies to corporate capital gains, not the incomes of individuals, and that the IRS doesn’t even define income.


“Most Americans would cower and cringe and raise their hands and surrender like a good little slave,” Mr. Brown said around the time of his conviction. He was also quoted as saying the state motto “live free or die.”


The Union Leader seems also to have played the “anti-government” card in order to incite public sentiment against Mr. Brown. The Leader noted: “During the past few decades, Brown has claimed membership in several anti-government (emphasis added) and militia groups including the Constitution Rangers of the Continental Congress of 1777, the Constitution Defense Militia and the UnAmerican Activities Investigations Commission, which he founded.”


January 20, 2007




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Updated January 22, 2007