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The report from the Merced Sun-Star. Jan. 30, 2012 from an earlier report dated Oct. 03, 2011

FRESNO — An Atwater tax preparer was convicted in federal court Monday of fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Fresno said.
Michael S. Ioane, 50, of Atwater, faces up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the four counts of presenting fake documents to the Internal Revenue Service.
Ioane, operating under the name Acacia Corporate Management and First Amendment Publishers between 1999 and 2009, promoted sham trusts that claimed to shield assets from the IRS.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Ioane created the trusts with various trustees and then transferred the property to Vincent Steven Booth, of Bakersfield. Ioane also caused bogus liabilities to be filed against Booth’s properties to create the appearance of no equity. Ioane presented the IRS with fake bills of exchange that claimed to extinguish all of Booth’s tax debt. He also created fake deed transfers of Booth’s properties to keep it out of the reach of the IRS. The actions allowed him to evade more than $1.3 million in back taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Booth pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on July 20, 2010. As part of the plea, Booth is working to pay the back taxes. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 10.
Ioane is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on Dec. 16.

My Answer:

Apparently your journalists are not doing their legwork. To be a good journalist one must dig into the facts of a case and get the evidence for the truth. Then that evidence must be revealed. Your short story here doesn’t do justice to either the newspaper journalistic tradition, or to the upstanding citizen of the USA and the State of California, Michael Scott Ioane, whom you are reporting on. Almost all of the above story you wrote is untrue. For instance, Michael Ioane was never “doing business” as a consultant “under the names” you mentioned. Michael Ioane has a residence in Atwater, but he is not an “Atwater tax-preparer and businessman.” People in Atwater know Michael Ioane very well and support him in his case against the IRS. He is not a tax-preparer there. He never helped the Booths prepare their taxes. I’ve noticed several national news stories about “tax-preparers” going to jail recently. Seems to be a big push to make tax-preparers look bad.

The fact that you say he is “doing business under various names…” alone makes it appear that something untoward was going on. I do business under various business names. This does not make me, or any American a criminal by proxy! If I say: “Apparently such and such a reporter was doing business under the name of the Merced Sun-Star from 2011-2012″ it sounds like he was doing something underhanded. Why not report the news as news, instead of with your flourishes of “guilty until proven innocent?”  Or worse, once a man is proven guilty in court and sentenced, never review the case again. Even if he’s released…Which he has been. Where is the report about that? Why haven’t you done some interviews with the principles in these cases? Why haven’t you reported anything that might serve to show you as being fair? There are often many sides to a story. Yet all you reported was so and so went to jail and good riddance. A man’s life an reputation is at stake here. The health and well being of his family is at stake. So is his job. Yet you devote one or two paragraphs to the case.

First of all according to his own testimony, (available in public court documents)  Dr. Booth, a resident of Bakersfield, CA. and his wife, formed three different trusts back in 1995. They did this, as most people do, to protect their property and to hand it down to their children. They did not meet Mr. Ioane until 1998 by their own admission. How therefore, could Ioane have formed trusts for them? Simple answer: He did not. By the time the Booths met and consulted with Mike Ioane their trusts had already been established and they had already put in quit claim deeds on the aforementioned properties. This means they had no further access to the properties legally and did not own them. All this occurred before the IRS ever determined the Booths owed 2.3 million dollars in back taxes! (not 1.3 as you mentioned. The tax burden went down to 1.3 after Booth perjured himself for the IRS’ criminal case against Ioane.) Booth’s own testimony and plea agreement stated that he owed at most 207K; Dr. Booth admitted this at trial and explained that was why he was objecting to the IRS about paying back taxes, because the IRS was trying to get 2.3 million.

As I stated,  Dr. Booth perjured himself  during the criminal trial and civil case over the issue of real estate;  He apparently wants to undo all those previous transactions and now pretend he never set up trusts! This so he can actually get the property back! The government is attempting to help him do that. Apparently the Booths have some deal with the government that if they can take it they will give it all back to Booth. At any rate at the criminal trial The IRS agreed with Booth that he only owed 207K, not 1.3 million dollars. This is a far-cry from the original 2.3 million dollars the IRS used as a reason to put liens and levies on the Booths. The main contention Iaone has is that he in know way helped the Booths keep anything from the IRS. At the tie the trusts were made, sans Ioane’s help, the Booths were not in trouble with the IRS.

Now. How is Mike Ioane involved in this? Unless he prepared their taxes? He did not prepare their taxes. They hired Ioane to manage their trusts and to consult with them on how best to move forward with relation to said trusts. At the time the IRS sought to seize the Booth’s properties for back taxes, they knew nothing of Mike Ioane. Another group entirely owned the properties by that time, nearly ten years after the initial trusts had been established by the Booths. Because these properties had been given over three times to various trusts, the IRS was unable to seize them. This is what the IRS does, trumps up extreme charges. Forces people to fear for their lives and properties, then begins to make “deals” so they can get the money they are really owed. So why attack and try to destroy the life of one real-estate/asset protection consultant? Why put anyone in jail over this non-crime? Again, simple answer: Because the cases the Booths and Mike Ioane made against the IRS using real estate laws of the state of California would have meant the IRS would have netted nothing. Had those cases been reviewed and upheld by the 9th District court for the Eastern division of California…instead of being swept under the rug by Justice Anthony Ishii.

All these real estate transactions which the Booths entered into are legal and above board. However every motion and objection in the real estate cases brought before the 9th District court, had been put on the backburners by the court under Ishii’s direction, so that the IRS could produce a completely unjustified criminal proceeding against Mike Ioane. The Booths owed back taxes, not Mike Ioane. None of the trusts owed back taxes either. Even had Ioane helped the Dr. and his wife establish, run and transfer properties to any trust, this is not illegal, since no one was aware the Booths were going to be hit for back taxes years later! You can’t play “Back to the Future” in real life. There is a huge difference between hiding something from the IRS and protecting one’s assets from future harm. At any rate the Booths no longer owned those properties when the IRS came knocking. Further, the IRS could have simply attached the mortgages of these properties until the back taxes were paid. They did not need to acquire and sell off the properties. These were not properties owned by drug dealers or mafia hit-men after all. They were the residences and offices of a well known Bakersfield chiropractor who was not going to take off to Brazil or run escape justice! This is a simple case of the IRS overstepping their bounds and authorities, then trying hard to cover their tracks. In order to protect their own backsides, agents of the IRS conspired to put innocent people in jail.

Why would the IRS seek to seize properties that were not owned by the Booths? Why should others be forced to pay the IRS for someone else’s back taxes? Is the government that hard up for money now that they have to steal from legal trusts?

The IRS sought to push through a claim that Mike Ioane had “conspired” with the Booths to “hide” the properties in “sham trusts.” Except the trusts were not shams. They were legitimate. They had not been set up to hide anything from the IRS. And no evidence for such an outrageous accusation was ever produced by the IRS. If Booth pleaded guilty to something, then that was his plea. Mike Ioane had nothing to do with aiding Booth in hiding assets. How do we know this to be true? By the fact that even though Ioane was convicted and imprisoned, he was also released! Judge O’Neill put Mike Ioane in Federal prison without a fair trial. Ioane showed that had he had a real trial he could have won his case. Booth perjured himself by involving Ioane, when in fact, he had already previously testified to the court that Mike Ioane  had nothing to do with Booth’s tax problems, and had done nothing to help him establish his trusts. This makes all of Booth’s testimonies and statements suspect. The documents given to the IRS were not “false” they were legal and legitimate. Only later, when Booth faced conviction and prison time did he say that his former testimony was “based upon facts that were not true.” Facts that are not true? In other words when the IRS pressured him, he claimed he had lied. But not in so many words. It is evident that Booth simply was forced by the IRS to implicate Ioane in a conspiracy. Why? Because that way the IRS could work around the California 9th Court and grab the properties they so dearly wanted! So they could show their bosses they had done their jobs. Meanwhile they threw a chiropractor and an asset protection specialist into Federal lock-up, for what? To prove to the American people that we should all be very, very afraid of their awesome power? The fact that Ioane has been released is evidence that their assumed power is not as great as they think it is. And we should not have to be afraid of the government, except when they provoke the powers of tyranny and begin to imprison people and ruin their lives on a whim!

It took very little investigation on my part, mostly of legal documents and testimonies, to find out that the IRS wanted money from Booth and so they were going to get his trust properties by hook or by crook. In this case I think it was by crook!”

By Tom Horne, Investigator