As you may have heard, yesterday I was sentenced to 15 months in federal
prison, and I have to turn myself in Monday to begin the sentence. We of
course had hoped for better, but it could have been a lot worse. (Tessa's
sentencing won't happen until February 15th.)
I will be turning over this e-mail list to Tom Clayton. I hope to be able
to mail him messages for him to e-mail to this list while I'm "inside."
To try to minimize the harm to my family, I went back and filed returns
for 1997 through 2004. In addition, the people who maintain the
sites have taken them down, in the hopes of improving my sentence. Judge
Baylson made it clear on two occasions that the existence of those web
sites, and the continued selling of my "Theft By Deception" video, would
have made my sentence worse.
As a result of filing returns and taking down the sites, the judge
yesterday rejected the prosecution's request for a maximum sentence (which
could have been as high as five years). He also dismissed the
government's attempt to increase the sentence based on alleged perjury,
which they requested based on the reasoning that if the jury didn't
believe me, I must have lied on the stand. (Apparently this is not an
unusual thing for the government to ask for, but interestingly, Judge
Baylson had the same take on it that I did: that such a penalty amounts to
punishing someone for taking the stand in his own defense.) For those
rulings, I am grateful.
What I believe about the correct interpretation and application of the law
has NOT changed, and will not change unless and until someone presents me
with EVIDENCE (not assertions) that I'm wrong. That certainly did not
happen at trial, where neither the government nor the court had much to
say about the issue, other than "frivolous." (Interestingly, at
sentencing the government was obviously angry that I haven't recanted my
BELIEFS, but Judge Baylson made it quite clear that I had a right to
believe anything I want, and that he was not asking me to change my
But the bottom line is that I feel like I have failed. I failed my
family, and I failed all of you. I misjudged how a dozen "average"
Americans would view the case, and would reach a verdict.
At the moment we intend to appeal, but I'm not sure we can afford to, in
light of what we're paying the IRS, what we've already paid in legal fees,
and the $10,000 fine imposed by the court (as part of the sentence).
Despite the much-appreciated generosity of those on this list, we ended up
with remaining legal bills of between $10,000 and $20,000. (I had
intended to give you all a precise, itemized list, but there are a lot of
other things I have to do before Monday.)
I guess what it comes down to is this: whether we can afford to appeal
depends upon whether YOU think it's worth funding. The price tag could be
as much as $40,000. (It would be filed by Peter Goldberger, well known
across the country as an outstanding appeals attorney. In fact, the judge
at sentencing twice commented on what a good attorney Mr. Goldberger is.)
Split among 6,400 people (the number of people on this list), this would
only come to $6.25 per person (though of course, in reality the number of
people who contribute is always a fairly small percentage of those asked).
But I also want to make a separate, more desperate, and more shameless (or
shameful) plea to all of you. I cannot express how much it pains me to
know the stress and pain that my efforts have brought upon my family.
Tessa remains incredibly (and inexplicably) supportive, and even our
daughter seems to be taking it as well as could be expected. (They plan
on visiting a lot.) They don't deserve what's happening to them, and
right now I don't really feel like I deserve their support.
I have no right to ask any of you to try to help fix the problems I've
caused for my family. But I'm going to anyway. I cannot praise Tessa
enough, and to have her suffer for her courage and support is something I
can't bear to imagine. To get to the point, I am unjustifiably begging
each of you to please help financial support my amazing, precious wife
while I'm in prison, so finances are one thing she doesn't need to worry
about. I have fun imagining what would happen if each of you went
hog-wild and donated $250, so Tessa would get $1.6 million (that even the
IRS would know isn't taxable)! Of course, that won't happen, but any
support you could give would be greatly appreciated. I can't bear to
think of Tessa having financial problems while I'm in no position to help.
Again, I have no right to ask, but I have to.
Whether for legal expenses, or just to help Tessa out financially,
contributions can be sent to the following. However, ALL DONATIONS SHOULD
BE MADE TO "TESSA DAVID." (The money is not really for me, and I won't be
around to sign checks anyway.) So you know, we will NOT be using
donations to pay the alleged back taxes, or the fine imposed on me (or any
that might be imposed on Tessa at her sentencing). We are already dealing
with that ourselves by getting a home-equity loan.
Contributions can be sent here:
c/o Larken Rose
P.O. Box 653
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
(If you prefer to make donations via PayPal, they can be sent to
Tessa and I can't express how much all of your support, moral and
financial, has helped us, and asking for MORE support is not what we were
hoping we'd be doing at this point. Then again, neither was preparing to
go to prison. This is the fate that resulted from my own choices, and I
will deal with it as best I can. Thank you for all your support.
(P.S. Very soon I will be publishing a book, unrelated to the tax issue,
called "How to be a Successful Tyrant (The Megalomaniac Manifesto)." I
think a lot of you will like it, and hopefully that will make some money
for Tessa in a way other than shamelessly begging for handouts. We'll
make sure you hear about the book when it's out.)