A New Home for My Blog

I have moved my blogging activity to a new location, and I'm still blogging about False Prophet Ronald Weinland.
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This Blogspot remains as an archive covering the period of April, 2008 through early July, 2009.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is Weinland FBARed?

False Prophet Ronald Weinland made a couple of references last year to his Swiss bank accounts. He mentioned their existence in his Last Great Day sermon back in October. The accounts had been established several years earlier with the funds to be used "for the Two Witnesses" and at that time he expected to soon move to Europe.

Then in December while in the Netherlands, he reversed this, claiming that he was closing these accounts and repatriating the funds to the US because the government suspected terrorism. He stated that he had come to understand the need to do this within the prior few weeks, inferring that it was a spiritual revelation.

Back in 2004 Weinland bragged : “... we put quite a bit of money over in a bank in Switzerland. And right now it’s – you know the Euro is -- as a matter of fact we spent some out of there and -- $30,000 as a matter of fact that we used out of those accounts. And you know what? Because of the value of it today, none of that’s really gone. It’s still there. It’s like we didn’t spend anything. If that makes sense to you.

It does make sense to me. I took a look at historical exchange rates between the dollar and the euro. For example, if Weinland put $220,000 into his Swiss bank accounts in euros during the Spring of 2003 when a euro cost $1.10, and then withdrew $30,000 at the end of 2003 or early in 2004 at an exchange rate of $1.25 per euro, then the Euros remaining in the accounts would have still been worth $220,000.

It is not illegal to have Swiss bank accounts. However, it is illegal to have a foreign bank account and not follow the reporting requirements. On line 7 of Schedule B for the 1040 tax return, the filer is to indicate whether s/he has an interest in or even just signature authority over foreign financial accounts with a total value exceeding $10,000 at any time during the year. If that's the case, s/he is required to file Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) form TD F 90-22.1 by June 30 of the following year. Unlike an income tax return, there is no provision for a filing extension. Also, there is no exemption of this filing requirement for churches.

From Weinland's statement, the balance in his Swiss bank accounts was worth well in excess of $30,000 in 2004 and therefore he would have been required to file the FBAR form. Since the euro fell against the dollar during the first part of 2004 prior to his statement, the money must have been there during 2003 in order to appreciate. Therefore, he would have needed to file an FBAR form for 2003 also. The penalties for failing to file can be quite severe. The penalties possible include:
  • a civil penalty of 50% of the account balance, or $100,000 (whichever is greater)
  • a fine of $250,000 and a 5-year prison sentence
Each year is considered a separate violation. IRS Criminal Investigation is the agency which enforces the filing requirements.

My speculation is that Ron closed the Swiss bank accounts down in December of 2008 so that he wouldn't be exposing himself to a filing violation for 2009. Perhaps after consulting with his attorney after the Feast of Tabernacles, he came to an understanding that he could be extradited from either Germany or Switzerland after all. Or maybe he did file his FBAR form for each and every year that he held the Swiss bank accounts -- what do you think?

The IRS is offering an amnesty program for those who haven't filed an FBAR form as required. It offers reduced penalties and the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution. In order to take advantage of this offer, one must contact IRS Criminal Investigation prior to September 23 of this year. Sorry, Ronald -- this offer isn't available to you since you're already under investigation.

But the amnesty offer might be available to Laura or Audra, should their names have been on the accounts but they haven't filed the FBAR form. If they are candidates for this amnesty, they should contact an attorney for advice. To avoid a conflict of interest, this should be an attorney from a firm other than either the Horwitz Law Firm which represented Ron last year in his motion to quash the IRS summonses for his financial records or Wood and Lamping where his attorney has moved.

According to the IRS FAQ, for someone who had signature authority over an account for an employer and didn't file the FBAR form but otherwise paid their income taxes, there will be no penalty provided the filing is caught up before September 23. Time is running short.


jack635 said...

I like the way you figured out how much he had in the account. Good math!

I am patiently waiting for the outcome of his IRS woes. Surely we will know by the end of the year before he sounds another trumpet.

Mike (Don't Drink the Flavor Aid) said...

It's good that you're patient. Like you, I'd like to see an outcome soon. But IRS criminal investigations can take quite some time, could be another year. I plan a post sometime on IRS criminal investigations in general.

Whisper said...

Rons Swiss accounts is an old story but an interesting one. Beyond all the math, laws, deciet, and greed is the fact that while the flock will die off and live in the remains of the American waistland (in Rons philosophy), Ron and his wife will wisk away from the destruction of American and his followers thier for higher ground, as it where...

Rons last serman from these shores would be along the lines of "well, the church is strong but you my fellow believers in America will fall with this doomed country. But take hope, at least me and the mrs's will be saved due to all the money you gave me... and hey, if there's any radio's left in this waistland after America's fall you can listen to me broadcast from Europe where we will be living, doesn't that make you feel better now? Yes, I thought so."

In 2011 I would like to predict (dangerous word I know...) that Ron will be living exactly where he is now. And for a double prediction I'll state the same for 2012... Am I a prophet? Only time will tell...


Mike (Don't Drink the Flavor Aid) said...

Whisper, I hope you're a false prophet ;) If Ron has violated the law, and I'm inclined to believe he has, then I hope the IRS can prove that and change his address to "in care of the Bureau of Prisons".

Yes, I've heard rumors of the Swiss bank account for some time. This new data indicates how long he's had them. These accounts were established well before his announcement in late 2005 that he was a Witness, suggesting that he's been planning this for some time.