In a time when the Dept. of Justice seems to be nearly as inept and incapable of executing its duties as it has ever been since the days of Prohibition, it is maddening to see this present administration at work. It is one thing to make mistakes and then own up to them. Or to find out some member of the cabinet or staff in Washington has committed him or herself to obvious breaches in protocol, integrity or the application of the law, as Eric Holder and the head of the ATF Kenneth Melson have done in selling weapons to the Mexican Drug Cartels which are then used to kill American citizens. It is every bit as bad a blemish on Obama’s record as the Iran-Contra Affair was back in the 80’s. Yet no one seems interested in prosecuting this case or the men involved. It seems to be “business as usual” back in Washington. People have been hired by the Obama Administration who are corrupt, inept and crooked as a bent nail.
In California one of Eric Holder’s top prosecutor’s, Mark E. Cullers, seems hell bent on making even more stains on the good name of the U.S. and California legal systems, and on the Obama administration, for which he works. Utilizing techniques of browbeating witnesses, threatening, cajoling and harassing are all ways that Mark Cullers prosecutes his cases. I have recently read the transcripts of the case the IRS and Cullers made against Dr. Stephen V. Booth and Michael Scott Ioane, and I must say it is literally the “creepiest” document I have ever read. I have seen bad courtroom docudramas and movies that look like Oscar Winning material compared to the case Cullers recently brought against Dr. Booth and Michael Ioane! I read with complete incredulity, a series of badgering, onerous tirades launched at Dr. Booth, accusing him of tax evasion, collusion, and conspiracy to evade taxes that sounded like something out of the Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials! I have never heard prosecuting attorneys acting so far outside the bounds of the law!
In America, a person is innocent until proven guilty. For Cullers it was more like beating the defendant over the head with a board and screeching at them: “Say you are guilty! Admit you are guilty! You defrauded the government! Say it! SAY IT!” Even the judge in the case seemed astounded at times and wondered where Cullers was trying to steer the court. Cullers kept mixing cases together, accusing Booth of collusion with Ioane and accusing Ioane of owing back taxes. One thing having nothing to do with the other. Because Booth had been forced through fear and threats to sign a plea bargain agreement with the govt. and to recant former sworn testimonies; Cullers insisted Booth proclaim his guilt to the world. Not only that, but Cullers insisted Booth drag others, including his own wife, into his web of deceit trying to convict anyone and everyone involved with Booth of crimes. Dr. Booth’s transcripted voice shows that he did not even understand what he was guilty of, but that he should tell the court at Cullers’ insistence, that Michael Ioane was somehow the very director of a series of frauds and illegal conspiracies to keep the govt. from getting Booth’s assets. (In this case three Bakersfield properties which no longer legally belonged to Booth). Cullers’ contention was that because Ioane suggested having a professional look at Booth’s back tax records, and to make motions in a court of law, to bring some real justice to the case, that this was somehow a conspiracy to defraud the government! In other words Mark E. Cullers feels that a citizen using the law to fight the IRS is somehow conducting a criminal activity.
Time after time Cullers lied to the jury. He attempted to get Booth to say things about Ioane that were not true. Booth on the other hand, could not bring himself to “rat out” someone who had helped him. Ioane had done nothing but make suggestions about how and when to file legitimate documents and motions with the U.S. district court for Eastern California at Fresno. This enraged the IRS, which does not think a citizen has a right to fight them.
Excuse me. If I am presented a bill by anyone, and that bill seems outrageous, then I have a right to dispute it. Disputing a bill is not illegal. Even disputing an IRS bill is not illegal. The IRS can say it believes you owe them money, this is not proof of anything. And you can dispute it and even bring it before a court of law to be decided. Then and ONLY then is the bill determined to be true. So in essence you cannot be defrauding the govt. if their bill is inaccurate. Mark E. Cullers and his cohorts in prosecutorial misconduct: James R. Terzian and Michele L. Thielhorn, et al; tried to make the jury believe that owing Federal Taxes is a crime in itself and that because Michael Ioane and Booth both owed taxes they therefore must be criminal co-conspirators! This essentially was their whole case. Without one shred of evidence they were about to convict a man to prison by badgering a witness into saying that Michael Scott Ioane had led him astray! It really did sound like something out of the records of the Inquisition.
Each time the IRS billed Booth or Ioane they started a process which is pretty regular with the IRS…they trumped up huge charges, late fees, filing fees, and all sorts of penalties and interest and come up with an insane number no one could possibly really owe! They claimed at one point Booth owed them 2.3 million dollars! Yet they knew his total worth was only $207,000. Then in a court of law, knowing they were lying to a jury and judge, they claimed Mike Ioane owed 2.9 Million dollars! Even though they had in their hand documents, which claimed Ioane only owed $60,000 and even that number was in dispute. They were trying to prove the men guilty of tax evasion only because each one had disputed these outrageous figures.
The IRS does this to private citizens, small businesses and large corporations all the time. And they almost NEVER win their cases. 85% of the cases the IRS brings to bear in court are lost. Why? Because they make numbers up! Mark E. Cullers is acutely aware of this. He uses it to intimidate witnesses and defendants and to scare juries. He knows the numbers are skewed and incorrect…but he blurts them out anyway, just to intimidate and make the IRS case seem justified. He did this throughout the Grand Jury review of the IRS case against Booth and Ioane. It is a wonder to me why no one has taken this man to task. As a lawyer for the U.S. Government he is supposed to uphold the law, not try to circumvent it. He is to be honest, forthright and have integrity. He is to prosecute a case with hard evidence and facts. Instead he acted like a Grand Inquisitor, tormenting his already plea-bargained witness into accusing his business manager of crimes against the State, putting innocent people in jail and ruining lives so he could look good to his cronies. I believe complaints should be made against this Federal Prosecutor, Mark Cullers. He should be disbarred, and no longer able to practice law, if his ideas of the law are this skewed. We ask, is it any wonder that John Edwards got off, that the Mexican Drug cartels have American weapons, and that the Obama Administration is wasting millions of tax payers’ dollars on prosecuting worthless IRS cases? Prosecutors and investigators in the Federal govt. are out of line and in breach of the law. Time to clean house.
Tom Horne, Investigator