Thursday, December 12, 2013

Failure to file costs Friend Tom Harter 3 yrs, $438K


Florida's Middle District USDC just convicted my friend, Dr. Thomas W. Harter (Tom), an Ocala, FL, dentist, of 6 tax crimes and sentenced him to 3 years plus a year of supervised release and restitution of $438K.  I haven't read the case documents, but Attorney Mark Schleben from Clearwater charged him a wad for writing some motions in limine and jury instructions, and defending him at trial.  Tom fired him and tapped the experience of Frank Kowalik, author of IRS Humbug

Tom submitted his affidavit to protest the Kangaroo Court nature of the proceeding. You might find it interesting reading.  Note that it does not have the form of a formal motion or petition.  So, I imagine no attorney would ever submit such a document to a court with the expectation of provoking any action from the court.  Tom submitted another affidavit, attached, to reinforce the first, and to attack the judgment. See the Docket Report.  I imagine he plans an appeal.

Tom runs his dental practice 4 days a week with a highly loyal, efficient, pleasant, and busy staff.  He cycles from room to room during his work day serving his patients.  His practice was 3 times bigger till the economy collapsed.  Going to prison would kill his practice, of course, and it wouldn't help his personal life.

The court labeled Tom a tax protestor and I imagine the DOJ considers his case "high profile." I saw the news report of his sentence today on TV while I lounged around with Maria.  His handsome face filled my 46" flat panel as the announcer mentioned the conviction, 3-year sentence, and $400,000+ restitution.

I met Tom when I headed the Lawman group in Tampa, devoted mostly to helping IRS victims find some way to hold their lives together and avoid disaster. Tom donated $3K to pay for me to attend Richard Cornforth's rocket-speed law school in 2007. Apparently it did me too little good.  Many of those Lawman members met their own IRS disasters, of course, now including my friend Tom.

Maybe it's too late for any special mojo to do Tom some good in this case.  But some crafty, powerful attorney might be able to convince the Circuit to agree with Tom, wipe out his $438K obligation, and keep him out of prison.

What do you think?


Bob Hurt         Blog 1 2 3   f  t  
2460 Persian Drive #70
Clearwater, FL 33763
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1 comment:

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