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FW: Resentencing of Restored Israel of Yahweh defendants  NWTRCC
 Mar 24, 2008 13:22 PST 

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 6:32 PM


Friends: Joe Donato, Inge Donato and Kevin McKee were re-sentenced
today (Friday, 3/7/08) in the federal district court in New Jersey,
following the appellate reversal of twelve counts of employment tax
evasion with which they had been charged, and the appellate ruling that
Inge was also innocent of the two counts of alleged failure to file
personal income tax returns for which the jury convicted her (as she had

no taxable income in those years). There is more good news than bad.
    Prior to resentencing, the government elected to dismiss the
overturned counts, rather than conduct a retrial. Unfortunately, because

the Third Circuit appeals court affirmed all three defendants'
convictions for conspiracy to defraud the United States in relation to
those same employment taxes, they all ended up convicted of a felony,
which in turn supported reimposition of almost the same sentences as
originally. All received new prison sentences of the time they had
already served following their original sentencings in 2005 -- 6 months
for Inge, 27 months for Joe, and 24 months for Kevin. Although,
incredibly, the prosecutor from the Tax Division of the Justice Dept in
DC asked that they be given *longer* prison terms, the judge gave that
thought no consideration at all. However, Judge Simandle did reimpose
the same fines ($50,000 on Inge, $5000 on Joe, and $4000 on Kevin), all
of which had already been paid by their religious society.
    On the bright side, however -- and most important -- the judge
modified the terms of all three defendants' post-incarceration
supervised release (the post-1987 substitute for federal parole), which
runs for 3 years from their respective release dates.   First, even
though they are all now "convicted felons," the judge ruled they can
freely associate with one another, which would normally be prohibited.
Second, for the express purpose of "accommodating" their religious
beliefs, the judge changed the standard requirement of "regular gainful
employment" to allow Joe and Kevin to substitute charitable or community

service for paid employment, so they can keep their income below the
taxable level while under supervision and thus avoid a further conflict
with the government. (Inge is disabled form working, so that wasn't a
problem for her.)
    Most gratifying, the judge clarified and modified the original
special condition that they "fully cooperate with the IRS by filing all
returns and paying current and delinquent taxes" to say instead that by
August they must file all delinquent and current returns, to the extent
required by law, going back 10 years -- but he dropped the specification

that they have to pay, so far as the court's conditions are concerned.
That, he expressly left to the IRS and its ordinary administrative
remedies. This is what we had requested, and it removed our greatest
worry. The RIOY defendants have reconsidered where they draw the line,
and are now willing to file, although still not to pay. (The judge
actually suggested they consider paying the non-military percentage of
their taxes, which he speculated would be "more than 50%." I didn't
offer him a pie chart.)
    The judge came very close to terminating Inge's supervision entirely

as of today, but in the end deferred that until the returns are filed.
All three defendants gave very moving statements to the judge prior to
sentencing. We will try to get the Public Defender who represented Joe
(I was officially there for Inge) to order a copy of the transcript,
since he can get it for free. All in all, it was not a bad day; we got
about 85-90% of what we were hoping for. It is very unlikely there
would be any further appeal.
-- Pax, Peter Goldberger, Attorney, Ardmore, PA
	
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