707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir. 1983), 82-5189, United States v. Eilertson

Docket Nº:82-5189.
Citation:707 F.2d 108
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Warren H. EILERTSON, Appellant.
Case Date:May 17, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Page 108

707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir. 1983)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Warren H. EILERTSON, Appellant.

No. 82-5189.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 17, 1983

Argued Feb. 11, 1983.

Howard L. Nelson, Washington, D.C., for appellant.

Max H. Lauten, Asst. U.S. Atty., Washington, D.C. (J. Frederick Motz, U.S. Atty., Baltimore, Md., on brief), for appellee.

Before PHILLIPS, ERVIN and CHAPMAN, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

While this appeal presents three issues for review, the preeminent issue is whether, in a willful failure to file an income tax return case, it was error for the judge to instruct the jury that if it found the defendant had not acted with "careless disregard" then it could find him not guilty for lack of willfulness. Because we find that this instruction violated the precepts of United States v. Bishop, 412 U.S. 346, 93 S.Ct. 2008, 36 L.Ed.2d 941 (1973), we reverse the defendant's conviction.

I

The defendant, Warren H. Eilertson, was convicted of three counts of willful failure to file an income tax return in violation of I.R.C. Sec. 7203 and one count of filing a false or fraudulent withholding exemption certificate in violation of I.R.C. Sec. 7205. The taxable years for which these convictions arose were 1977, 1978 and 1979, years during which Eilertson was employed by the Department of Navy as a research engineer.

From at least 1971 through 1976, the defendant filed proper tax returns. (He also filed correct returns for his spouse during the years 1977-79.) In August 1977, however, his 1974 return was audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Although the audit revealed no improprieties, the experience left the defendant embittered toward the tax system and led to the actions which culminated in this criminal trial.

Page 109

In 1978, Eilertson obtained two extensions of time to file his 1977 return. When the return was filed, it contained no financial information from which his tax liability could be determined. The defendant refused to provide the information because he stated he feared "self-incrimination" and because he was "confused" about the meaning of the terms "dollar" and "Federal Reserve Note." Eilertson filed similar returns for the taxable years 1978 and 1979.

The defendant's payroll records from the Department of Navy show that he earned $27,915.20 in 1977, $29,482.40 in...

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10 practice notes
  • 26 F.3d 456 (4th Cir. 1994), 92-5693, United States v. Whittington
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • 8 Junio 1994
    ...'the term "willfully" ... requires more than a showing of careless disregard of the truth.' " United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108, 110 (4th Cir.1983), quoting United States v. Pomponio, 429 U.S. 10, 12, 97 S.Ct. 22, 23, 50 L.Ed.2d 12 (1976). The instruction here read as ......
  • 777 F.Supp. 1290 (E.D.Va. 1991), C.R. 91-00078-01, United States v. Bartrug
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit Eastern District of Virginia
    • 21 Noviembre 1991
    ...original jurisdiction, ..., of all offenses against the laws of the United States." 18 U.S.C. § 3231; United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir.1983) (per [1] Section 7201 provides: Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title......
  • 773 F.2d 579 (4th Cir. 1985), 84-5328, United States v. Martin
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • 25 Septiembre 1985
    ...'the term "willfully" ... requires more than a showing of careless disregard of the truth.' " United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108, 110 (4th Cir.1983), quoting United States v. Pomponio, 429 U.S. 10, 12, 97 S.Ct. 22, 23, 50 L.Ed.2d 12 (1976). The instruction here read as ......
  • 732 F.2d 1328 (7th Cir. 1984), 83-1634, United States v. Koliboski
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • 24 Abril 1984
    ...clearly fall within federal district court jurisdiction under Section 3231. See 1 U.S.C. Sec. 112 (1951); United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir.1983). Second, the defendant argues that the special grand jury in this case exceeded its statutory authority when it indicted him on D......
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10 cases
  • 26 F.3d 456 (4th Cir. 1994), 92-5693, United States v. Whittington
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • 8 Junio 1994
    ...'the term "willfully" ... requires more than a showing of careless disregard of the truth.' " United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108, 110 (4th Cir.1983), quoting United States v. Pomponio, 429 U.S. 10, 12, 97 S.Ct. 22, 23, 50 L.Ed.2d 12 (1976). The instruction here read as ......
  • 777 F.Supp. 1290 (E.D.Va. 1991), C.R. 91-00078-01, United States v. Bartrug
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit Eastern District of Virginia
    • 21 Noviembre 1991
    ...original jurisdiction, ..., of all offenses against the laws of the United States." 18 U.S.C. § 3231; United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir.1983) (per [1] Section 7201 provides: Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title......
  • 773 F.2d 579 (4th Cir. 1985), 84-5328, United States v. Martin
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • 25 Septiembre 1985
    ...'the term "willfully" ... requires more than a showing of careless disregard of the truth.' " United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108, 110 (4th Cir.1983), quoting United States v. Pomponio, 429 U.S. 10, 12, 97 S.Ct. 22, 23, 50 L.Ed.2d 12 (1976). The instruction here read as ......
  • 732 F.2d 1328 (7th Cir. 1984), 83-1634, United States v. Koliboski
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • 24 Abril 1984
    ...clearly fall within federal district court jurisdiction under Section 3231. See 1 U.S.C. Sec. 112 (1951); United States v. Eilertson, 707 F.2d 108 (4th Cir.1983). Second, the defendant argues that the special grand jury in this case exceeded its statutory authority when it indicted him on D......
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