Kent Hovind, founder of Creation Science Evangelism and Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, was found guilty of 58 counts, including failure to pay $845,000 in employee-related taxes. He faces a maximum of 288 years in prison.
Jo Hovind was charged and convicted in 44 of the counts involving evading bank-reporting requirements. She faces up to 225 years in prison but was allowed to remain free pending the couple's sentencing on Jan. 9.
Kent Hovind briefly held onto her arm as the verdict was read. Neither reacted at first. But minutes later, she held her face in her hands.
"Nobody likes to pay taxes," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer said in her closing argument. "But we do because it's the law, and he is not above the law."
Kent Hovind, whose life's mission is to debunk evolution, says he and his employees are workers of God and therefore exempt from paying taxes. He pays his employees in cash and does not withhold their taxes or pay his share as an employer.
Christies are going to spin this as religious persecution, forgetting they get no special treatment under the law compared to any other religion or any group of any kind. It's bad enough that churches are already tax exempt.