Monday, January 22, 2018

UPDATED::Exorcism excise: U.S. psychic pleads guilty to $3.5 million tax evasion | Reuters

UPDATE::  A Psychic Who Charged $3.5 Million for Exorcisms Is Going to Prison
A purported psychic who charged an elderly Massachusetts woman $3.5 million for exorcisms and “spiritual cleansing” has been sentenced for evading taxes.

Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Sally Ann Johnson, of south Florida, was sentenced Wednesday to two years and two months in prison. She was ordered to repay the woman and pay $725,000 to the IRS.
A self-proclaimed psychic who was paid $3.5 million by an elderly Massachusetts woman in exchange for claiming to cleanse her of demons pleaded guilty on Thursday to trying to avoid paying taxes.

Sally Ann Johnson, 41, for more than seven years provided what she described as healing services to a resident of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, who was more than 70 years old when she first met the spiritual healer, according to court papers. 

Johnson, who ran businesses including Psychic Match Inc and Flatiron Psychic, admitted in Boston federal court that she tried to impede the administration of tax laws.

Exorcism excise: U.S. psychic pleads guilty to $3.5 million tax evasion | Reuters

Friday, January 19, 2018

Boys claim sexual abuse was covered up at ranch

A Missouri ranch for troubled boys covered up rapes and sexual assaults committed against young boys in 2009 and 2010, according to lawsuits filed by three former residents.

Some boys fondled, molested and raped younger boys, the lawsuits say, while the ranch ignored the abuse and sometimes punished boys for reporting it.

According to the lawsuits, Lives Under Construction viewed sexual abuse as consensual acts between residents and fired an employee in retaliation for making a hotline call about it.

There was a "culture of pervasive sexual assault," the lawsuits say.

Lives Under Construction, a Christian residential facility for troubled boys near the Arkansas border, denies these allegations. 
According to Ortman, 69 years old and white-haired, the boys' ranch would not be in operation today were it not for the will of God.

Boys claim sexual abuse was covered up at ranch

13 siblings ages 2 to 29 'held captive' by parents, some shackled, officials say - ABC News

The distraught grandparents added that David and Louise Turpin are considered a good Christian family in their community, saying they can't understand “any of this.” 

"God called on them" to have as many children as they did, James and Betty Turpin said of their son and daughter-in-law. 

The arrested couple's parents also said the children were given "very strict homeschooling," and that the children would memorize long passages of the bible. Some of the kids' goal was to memorize it in its entirety, the couple said. 

The most recent time the grandparents visited they noticed the children “looked thin,” they said, but they seemed like a “happy family.” 

All 13 alleged victims are believed to be the couple’s biological children, the sheriff's office said.

13 siblings ages 2 to 29 'held captive' by parents, some shackled, officials say - ABC News

See also::   Torture / Child Endangerment

Botetourt County church treasurer sentenced for embezzling...

One I missed from late last year.  From other reports read, the church in question could ill afford this scam; only 50 parishoners.
A judge sentenced a Botetourt County church treasurer to prison Tuesday for embezzling thousands of dollars.
Prosecutors say 43-year-old Stephanie Everett embezzled nearly $100,000 from Stephanie Everett

The money was supposed to be used to help people in need but instead, it was used for everyday purchases by Everett, as well as big purchases that included a beach vacation and Virginia Tech football tickets.
Botetourt County church treasurer sentenced for embezzling...

Sam Mullet, Amish bishop who orchestrated beard-cutting attacks, asks judge to overturn his convictions |

Amish bishop Sam Mullet is asking the Cleveland federal judge who sent him to prison to overturn his convictions for orchestrating a series of beard and hair-cutting attacks on his enemies.

Mullet argues in a motion filed Friday that his former attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Ed Bryan, made a series of errors while representing him at his 2012 trial, and through two appeals. Had Bryan not committed the errors, Mullet's trial may have ended differently, the motion says.

Bryan, who has worked as a federal defense attorney since 1997, admitted to these errors in an affidavit included in the motion.

Sam Mullet, Amish bishop who orchestrated beard-cutting attacks, asks judge to overturn his convictions |

Judge rejects religious argument | Western Colorado |

A Grand Junction man is facing up to 30 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of multiple fraud-related charges Thursday evening.
Rocky Hutson was convicted of multiple fraud-related counts after a June 2016 indictment stemming from an FBI-headed investigation, which also resulted in several other arrests.

FBI investigators have described Hutson as a sovereign citizen. Members of the loosely organized movement generally don't recognize federal or state government authority.
Hutson's conviction on all counts followed a midtrial ruling by U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger that he could not use as a shield the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Carbondale-based defense attorney Ashley Petrey said in an interview Friday her client's beliefs are sincere, if "odd and unpopular."
"He truly believes these theories about the United States government, and he does treat it like his religion," Petrey said. "It's very intertwined with God and who created man. … He should be entitled to practice those beliefs."
Krieger ruled that Hutson's beliefs about the corruption of the U.S. government — while sincere — weren't religious.

U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Jeff Dorschner wrote in an email Friday that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is an important tool for protecting religious beliefs.
"Here, having anti-government beliefs, according to the court, is not a protected religious belief," he wrote.

Judge rejects religious argument | Western Colorado |

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mayhew Found Guilty |

A district court jury found William Mayhew guilty on four counts of sexual assault in the third degree Wednesday night after about an hour and a half of deliberation.

The verdict came after three days of trial in the court of District Judge John Fenn. No sentencing date has been scheduled at this time. The victims were all from within the Sheridan community.

Mayhew Found Guilty |

See also::  Sexual abuse trial runs ahead of schedule