Jack Townsend writes on the recent conviction of Aristotle, “Rick” R. Matsa on 22 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice related offenses, including witness tampering and making a false statement.” Jack highlights the part about FBAR charges in the government summary:
The evidence at trial also showed that Rick Matsa violated FBAR, the foreign bank account reporting requirements, by failing to disclose his ownership and control over a foreign bank account held in The Netherlands. The evidence at trial was that Rick Matsa maintained more than $300,000 in funds in that undisclosed foreign bank during 2003.
A certain “Charmek” chimed in the comments (Please note the warm feelings that Charmek has for the United States as a result of FBAR):
Anonymous [a.k.a. “Charmek”] Apr 22, 2012 01:50 AM
I’m the dutch so-called beneficiary, I helped Rick in 2003 to open a bank account. After a few months Rick told me the bank didn’t want the money and the money went back. I don’t understand what was so wrong about it. Ask me . I still have many questions. If i had known this would make him a criminal i wouldn’t have helped him to open a bank account in his name in the Netherlands.
Anonymous [another person — you see this is why we don’t allow “anonymous” at Isaac Brock] Apr 23, 2012 09:52 AM
So are you saying that he did not open these accounts to intentionally hide it from the Govt? Did he sign any documents that instructed the accounts should not be revealed to Govt agencies.
charmek Apr 24, 2012 01:54 AM
He told me he needed to store the money elsewhere so it would be safe from his wife who wanted a divorce, later he told me he was threatened by the friends of his wife who wanted money of him. In 2007 I had to tell the IRS and the DOJ about it. At that time they didn’t tell me that it was about tax-evasion. Although I was the human shield, my friendship was abused I wouldn’t want him to go to jail for this. I think those federal laws are much too harsh. If he goes to prison for a long time I despise the USA and all the sheeple who make this possible. Happy to live in Holland, tax-evaders have to pay but don’t go to prison for a long time.
I wonder how this affects the question of mens rea. If the intent was to hide the money from the wife, not the IRS, then how can this be a “wilful” and criminal violation of FBAR?