Kent Hovind, Independent Baptist minister and proponent of Young Earth Creationism, has been on trial in the federal district court in Pensacola. The charges relate to actions taken in response to government seizure of property. The seizure was a result of his conviction in 2006 for structuring, the systematic withdrawal of amounts somewhat less than $10,000 to avoid currency reporting requirements. His codefendant Paul John Hansen was the trustee of Creation Science Evangelism which held title to the seized property.
The indictment charged them with fraud and contempt of court for the filing of a lis pendens, a notice of pending litigation, to warn buyers of Hovind and CSE’s continuing claim on the seized property. Hovind was pursuing a lawsuit against prison official who he claimed had interfered with his appeal of the original conviction. Hovind hoped, probably still hopes, to have the original conviction reversed and the property returned to him….
I just heard from Jonathan Schwartz of Interlock Media and freelance journalist Ben Sheffler that the jury has reached a verdict. On the six count indictment, Hovind was found guilty on count three, which only applied to him – violating a court order in 2007 to not interfere with title to the property. Hansen was found guilty on counts five and six, which only related to him – violating a court order to Creation Science Evangelism to refrain from further filings in relation the property and resisting a grand jury subpoena. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the more serious fraud charges against Hovind and violating the court order against CSE. Hansen was found not guilty on one of the fraud charges (count two) with the jury splitting on the other fraud charge (count 1) and violating the order to CSE (count 4).
Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.
By Peter J. Reilly – Forbes –