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Federal District Courts DO have jurisdiction in criminal cases concering violations of the Federal Income Tax laws as set forth in Title 26.

by Otto Skinner

The following is my response to just part of an article written by Irwin Schiff, as published in the AntiShyster News Magazine, Volume 7, No. 2, starting at page 44. Schiff has several issues very convoluted in this article. I will, however, address only three of the issues. I will address the federal court jurisdiction issue in this article, and two of the other issues in the next two following articles. Relating to the federal court jurisdiction, at page 45, Schiff states:
As incredible as it seems, there are no laws making alleged income tax offenses crimes, and no court was ever given jurisdiction to prosecute anyone for committing any such offense.
Schiff, as well as some other promoters, would lead the patriots to believe that the federal district courts do not have jurisdiction to try criminal cases for violations of the Internal Revenue Code, which is Title 26 of the United States Code. The reason given by the promoters of this argument is that there is no section in Title 26 granting the federal district courts jurisdiction in criminal cases. The true fact is, however, Congress did grant the federal district courts such criminal jurisdiction. Let me explain.

26 U.S.C. 7201 makes it a crime (felony) for any person to willfully attempt to evade or defeat a tax imposed by Title 26. 26 U.S.C. 7203 makes it a crime (misdemeanor) for any person required under Title 26 to make a return (report) to willfully fail to make such return. These are just two of the many crimes listed in Title 26.

The Criminal Code, Title 18 of the United States Code, grants federal district courts jurisdiction concerning criminal violations of Title 26, to wit:
The district courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction, exclusive of the courts of the States, of all offenses against the laws of the United States. 18 U.S.C. 3231. (In Part. Emphasis added.)
This issue has been heard and ruled on by the courts before. A rather thorough history and ruling regarding 18 U.S.C. 3231, as it applies to crimes listed in Title 26, is provided in the case of United States v. Sasscer, 558 F.Supp. 33 (D. Ct. Maryland 1982). The Sasscer Case shows that the ancestry of 18 U.S.C. 3231 can be traced to the First Judiciary Act of 1789 which also specified which courts would have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all crimes committed against the laws of the United States. Also, see United States v. Spurgeon, 671 F.2d 1198 (8th Cir. 1982).

I would find it difficult to believe that any of the promoters of the "no criminal jurisdiction for Title 26 crimes" argument who also know John Sasscer personally would not also be fully aware of the facts documented by the court in the Sasscer Case. John Sasscer has worked closely with, and even has written article for, the Save-A-Patriot organization. Since Schiff also has worked closely with this organization, I would imagine that Schiff knows John Sasscer personally and should be well aware of the Sasscer Case. This is especially so, since Schiff promotes himself as "the nations leading authority on the income tax". (See http://www.ischiff.com)

Over the years, I have strongly disagreed with Schiff on many issues. In my new book, The Biggest "Tax Loophole" of All, I list 18 flawed arguments in a chapter titled, Why Some People Go To Jail. Out of these 18 arguments which I consider to be legally flawed, I think you will find that Schiff has promoted about 15 of them as if they are legally valid. What is important is that you check everything out for yourself so that you will not use a legally flawed argument in your own case.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the "no criminal jurisdiction for Title 26 crimes" argument should not be an argument a patriot would want to waste his time and effort on in a court case.

Otto Skinner is the author of the following three books:

The Best Kept Secret, "Taxpayer" V. Nontaxpayer" (1986, revised 1996) - $24.95
If You Are the Defendant (1989, revised 1996) - $24.95
The Biggest "Tax Loophole" of All (1997) (A 2 pound book.) - $39.95

Add $5.00 S/H flat rate for all orders. - $  5.00

Get all three for a total of $84.85 and save $20.00
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Order from: Otto Skinner
PO Box 6609
San Pedro, CA 90734

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