This trial is going to be a lot of fun to watch. The local paper reports that two of Hovind’s employees, the ones he says he didn’t withhold taxes from or pay taxes on because they were “ministers” and he runs a ministry, testified that they thought they were employees. And they quoted from memos from Hovind himself calling them such:
Heldmyer asked Popp to read from ministry memos that referred to the workers as “employees” and included rules about timeliness, payroll, vacation days and salaries.
Yet Hovind claims they weren’t employees. And his attorneys attempt to spin this:
Richey pointed out the ministerial aspects of the memo, including references to Scripture and “helping to promote Christ.”
Popp said the memos didn’t always paint a clear picture of the inner workings of the ministry.
“There was sometimes a difference between memos and how we’d actually operate,” he said.
But what on earth is the point? Churches still have to pay payroll taxes on church employees. The church may be non-profit, but those who work for the church still get taxed on the income. So even if the lawyer is 100% correct, it’s still completely irrelevant to the legal question. But here’s my favorite part:
Popp testified that Hovind warned employees not to accept mail addressed to “KENT HOVIND.” He said Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his “all-caps name.” Hovind said if he accepted the mail, he would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation, Popp testified.
That gives you some idea of just how whacko Hovind is. The guy is a total fruitloop.