Diversity Is Strength: It`s Also Extended Crime Families, Tax Fraud, And Hung Juries


All this millennium, I`ve been banging on in
VDARE.com about the

links
between immigration and

crime families.
But even I was surprised when I
ended up on the jury in a trial that so perfectly
exemplified what I`ve been saying that it sounds like I
made it up.

Although this

tax fraud
trial in downtown Los Angeles was
a VDARE.com column
come to life, one thing I did
learn was that you don`t have to be a criminal
mastermind to make millions in white-collar crime.

The scam was incredibly simple. Get licensed as a car
dealer and buy a used car lot. Sell an old car for, say,
$10,000 plus the $825 in sales tax, but send the state
of California only $412.50, pocketing the other $412.50.

Repeat until rich.

Unlike on

Law & Order,

real trials are not crackerjack battles of wits.
This one plodded on for a couple of weeks, but it did
get more amusing when the defense went on the offense.

The defendant was an
Iranian immigrant
with a shaved head and a goatee.
He lived in

Orange County
`s idyllic seaside suburb of

San Clemente.

The

colorless prosecutors
laboriously demonstrated that
charged man had legally registered himself as president
and owner of a used car lot in a

Latino part
of the

vast LA megalopolis
. Over a three-year period, his
dealership had collected $4 million dollars in sales tax
from customers, but had only sent $2 million on to the
state, thus stealing $2 million,
tax-free
.

Brilliant, no?

There was just one little flaw in the accused`s
otherwise perfect plan: lots of other people had tried
to pull this same fast one since California started
collecting sales tax in 1933. So the state government
employs accountants who check up on businesses to make
sure
they are forwarding all the sales tax.
The
auditors kept asking the CEO and his bookkeeper, another
Iranian, why, according to the tax records they had sent
the state, all the used cars had been sold for just a
fraction of their

Kelley Blue Book values.

Eventually, the dealership had gone out of business
and now the CEO was in the dock.

So, maybe it wasn`t such a perfect plot, but …
Whose scheme was it, anyway?

The preening defense attorney`s claim was that, well,
sure, his client had signed all sorts of official
documents proclaiming himself to be the owner and chief
executive of the car lot, but he wasn`t really the man
in charge.

See, the defendant was just fronting for his
brother-in-law, who actually ran the business while the
defendant was merely responsible for deciding what
repairs should be done on the cars and which

repair shops
would do it. This hidden partner paid
the defendant $60,000 per year in salary, while he kept
all the profits.

The defense passed around 8" by 10" glossies of the
new house on a golf course in San Clemente that the
brother-in-law had built and decorated for himself and
his wife, the defendant`s sister.

And decorated is the operative word. A year
later, I was reminded of this gaudy Persian palace when
I saw South Park`s

parody
of

300
, the hit movie about the

Battle of Thermopylae.
In it, the

invading Persians,
dressed in

gold chains,
silk shirts, and designer sunglasses,
want to take over South Park and redecorate the

Les Bos bar
with the kind of "customized

Gucci accessories
which only a Persian would think
were cool."

Meanwhile, we learned from the defense, the poor
defendant had to make do living in the 2400 square foot
home he had long owned in San Clemente (market value

at the time:
seven figures).

The defense put on the stand the defendant`s siblings
to talk about how he was "just a simple man" who,
back in Iran, had
merely graduated from high school.
(That, by the
way, would make him above average among
Los Angeles Unified School District
students). He
could never come up with or operate such a sophisticated
swindle himself.

So why the charade?

Because, we learned from the defense`s own witnesses,
the defendant`s brother-in-law was a

notorious crook
, with such a long history of fraud
that

he wasn`t allowed to work
in the

used car
business anymore. (Think about

that
for
a second.)

Where, you might ask, is the genius brother-in-law
now?

Well, after about a year and a half of the state
sales tax auditors questioning the nominal CEO, the
hidden partner had fled back to Iran. (Just before
making a run for the border, he took out long-term
leases on five new cars, and then
sold them for cash
.) The U.S.,

not surprisingly
, doesn`t have an operative
extradition treaty with

Iran
, so he`s home free.

The defendant`s sister, the abandoned wife of the
fugitive hidden partner, lamented on the witness stand
how she had to sell the new house and move with her two
children into the house owned by her brother. Her
parents were already living there, so now there are
six people
sharing merely 2400 square feet! (And
not
on a

golf course
either, let me add.)

The defendant`s older brother, a

CPA with an MBA
, explained that he had decided
during the used car lot`s first year of operation to
wash his hands of keeping their books.

In the closing arguments, the defense asserted that
the defendant was the real victim. The prosecution
pointed out that he had admitted on the witness stand to
having knowingly signed the legal documents taking
responsibility for the dealership.

Clearly, the arrested man wasn`t the prime mover in
the crime, but equally clearly, he had made the crime
possible by taking legal responsibility for his con man
brother-in-law`s surreptitious return to the used car
business.

If you don`t want to do the time, then don`t sign on
the line.

Being on a

jury
for a long trial is a strange experience
because you aren`t allowed to talk about the trial while
it`s going on. You finally get into the jury room and
find out that … your fellow jurors just don`t get it.

The vote was 11-1 for acquittal from the beginning
and it stayed that way to the end three days later when
a hung jury was declared. I made sure the defendant
could never say he had been acquitted, but that was all
the satisfaction I could get out of the experience.

Why did 11 jurors vote to acquit?

First, dullness. Many didn`t have the mental
capability to synthesize into a coherent narrative of
cause and effect the pointillist data that emerges over
the protracted course of a trial. White-collar crime
cases, where many of the witnesses are auditors, are
particularly tedious, disjointed, and, by their very
nature, misleading. Nobody else on the jury had figured
out during two weeks of testimony what was going on.

Second, laziness. Nobody else saw it as his or her
duty to figure out what the story was. If the

prosecution
didn`t explain it to them well enough
for them to understand it, they weren`t going to think
about it.

Third, bias. Several of the jurors

were immigrants themselves,
and the most energetic
spokesman for the defendant, a Bulgarian immigrant,
turned out to be a
used car dealer
himself! He seemed to take the whole
case rather personally.

Fourth, guilt. Southern California`s economy
increasingly runs on
cash transaction
s that the taxman
isn`t supposed to hear about.
In an outstanding July
20, 2003 article in the Los Angeles Times Magazine,


Undermining American Workers
, veteran
newspaperman Fred Dickey recounted:

"In April, I shopped for
a contractor to paint my house trim. I got three bids.
One was for $1,600, about $400 less than the others. The
only condition was that payment be in cash. That wasn`t
remarkable. Is there a Californian alive who doesn`t
know they can pay under the table for cheap immigrant
labor? You pay cash. There are no checks. There is no
tax record."

Dickey noted:

"But this bargain didn`t
come from an undocumented worker. It came from an
established businessman with good references. … He
vented: `If I`m going to stay in business, I have to do
what the illegals do. They never pay taxes, on profits
or on their employees` pay. Right there, I`m at a 20%
disadvantage.`"

In Los Angeles, immigrant businessmen from the Middle
East (like the defendant) and from ex-Communist
countries (like the Bulgarian juror) are particularly
inclined toward the gray market. They come from
countries where you can`t trust the government to
enforce contracts fairly. You can only trust your
family. So, you bring your whole family to America and
keep operating just like you did in the Old Country.

The size of the untaxed economy is big and growing.
Dickey wrote in 2003:

"A study last year by the

Economic Roundtable
, a Los Angeles research group,
found that the underground sector in Southern California
probably

accounts for 20% or more of the economy
, says
economist Dan Flaming, author of the report."

The newsman pointed out that this plays a large role
in the

state government`s recurrent fiscal disasters
(and,
by the way, there is a

new one now underway

in California right now):

"As the underground
sector surged in the `90s, an unpleasant snowball began
to gather mass. The amount of tax revenues generated by
the economy didn`t keep pace with the population growth
and accompanying rise in demands for government
services."

Having served on this jury, I`m not at all surprised
that

California is Ground Zero
of

subprime disaster
that`s taking our country into
recession. To a significant extent, it`s driven by

mortgage fraud.
Diversity is strength, as we all
know, but it`s also

fraud
—and a

failing jury system
.


[Steve Sailer (
email
him) is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

for

The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com

features his daily blog.]