Winston Blackmore’s tax evasion trial starts on Monday, January 23, 2012

Mormon fundamentalist leader must testify in tax case and reveal details of polygamy and child brides in Bountiful

Vancouver Sun  –  Canada    June 8, 2011

Polygamous leader’s tax trial set for January By Daphne Bramham | Vancouver SunPolygamous leader Winston Blackmore will testify under oath for the first time about his ‘lifestyle’ during his 12-day trial in federal Tax Court begins Jan. 23, 2012.
Blackmore had asked for an unprecedented ban on the publication and use of any witness testimony or evidence related to polygamy during his tax trial so that none of that information could be used against him in any future criminal trial. His motion was denied by Judge Campbell Miller. Blackmore is not appealing the decision and now has three months to pay the $50,000 in court costs that Miller ordered him to pay.
Polygamy is illegal in Canada, but the law is under review by Chief Justice Robert Bauman of theB.C. Supreme Court, who was asked by the B.C. government to determine if the criminal sanction is constitutional since the Charter of Rights guarantees religious freedom and freedom of expression.
Blackmore’s unprecedented request was denied earlier this month, clearing the way for his trial which is also a precedent-setting case to determine how he and his extended family ought to be taxed.
Blackmore is appealing the reassessment of his personal income tax filings for 2002 to 2006 that concluded he had under-estimated his earnings by $1.5 million and the $147,000 he was assessed in penalties.
At issue is whether Blackmore’s large family (which includes 19 or more wives and more than 130 children), plus his extended family of siblings and their multiple wives and children constitute a “congregation” for tax purposes.
The government of Canada says they don’t. Up until 2002 when he was ex-communicated by theFundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Blackmore was the bishop of the congregation in Bountiful, B.C. Since then, the government says he and his family are not “a constituent part of any religious organization.”
In Tax Court, it’s up to the taxpayer to prove that the government’s interpretation is wrong. So, it will be up to Blackmore, his wives and others to prove that they all lived and worked together and share beliefs. And under cross-examination, lawyers for Canada will be able to ask questions about all of that including how many wives Blackmore had during the disputed tax years and where they all lived.

 

(Note:  Thank you, Perry Bulwer, for your archiving of these articles on your blog.  Perhaps, after Mr. Blackmore reveals his many “wives”, aka concubines, we may see polygamy charges laid against the man.)
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