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Quatlosers > Joe Banister

Quatlosers Hall of Shame

Joe Banister

These special-editions Quatloos commemorates those who have made a name for themselves in their particular business endeavors.

100 Q
Joe Banister

Our 100Q Woopoo chip commemorates notorious tax scam artists. Usually it isn't difficult to figure out where these crooks are coming from, but occasionally there is the exception.

Alleged "former" IRS-CID agent Joseph Banister is a regular speaker at "tax protestor" events and has published the book "Investigating the Income Tax". In just a couple of years, Banister has emerged as the poster child of the de-tax gurus, appearing on national TV interviews -- where, amazingly, he admits that he himself reports and pays his income tax, although advocating to others that the payment of income taxes is "voluntary". Strange.

But it gets even stranger: Many of the "tax protestor" gurus are convinced that Banister is simply a plant and is still working for the IRS-CID in an attempt to infiltrate the de-tax industry. Pat Shannan, who lingers on the periphery of the tax protestor crowd, claims that Larry Becraft has warned that Banister is still an IRS-CID agent and a "Trojan Horse" to infiltrate the business. According to Shanna, Becraft purportedly told Bill Benson, "I don't care what he says, Bill, he's still a !@#$% IRS agent, and I don't trust him!"

Fellow Quatlooser Otto Skinner has proclaimed Banister to be an undercover IRS plant, see articles/ banister.html

Nobody even knows if Joseph Banister is this guy's real name. Few IRS agents use their real names when on duty, because of fear of retaliation by citizens whom they have crossed. And, Banister burst onto the scene in 1999 when the IRS was just realizing that it had a significant problem with tax protestors, so the timing is pretty suspicious.

Banister's website is where he sells The Banister Report and gives out his free report "Investigating the Federal Income Tax". Banister claims to have been inspired by fellow tax scam artists and Quatlosers Bill Conklin and Devvy Kidd. Banister seems to show up with Conklin and Kidd at speaking events, along with another Quatlooser, Bill Benson. We suspect Banister is one of two things: (1) an ex-IRS agent who figured out that he could make a lot more money selling de-tax books and stuff than he could working for the governent, and who believes that so long as he pays his own taxes the U.S. government can't do much about it as long as he throws in the appropriate disclaimers into his materials (which he does) and thinks that the suckers dumb enough to believe him get what they deserve; or (2) he is -- as many in the tax protestor movement suspect -- a plant. Our bet is on the first.

Otto Skinner says that Conklin and Banister are just flat wrong, see fiscal/ fifth_amendment.html

Banister Acquitted

On June 23, 2005, a jury acquitted Joe Banister of multiple counts of assisting Al Thompson file a fraudulent tax return. Banister's position was that as a then-member of the federal tax bar (he has since been disbarred) he was privileged to assist Al Thompson in preparing what is known as a "protest return".

Al Thompson, one of the USA Today posterboys for Bob Schulz's We The People organization, was convicted of failing to withhold paychecks from the employees of his Cencal Aviation, and is currently serving a six-year sentence. The Banister acquittal will not help Thompson's appeal.

Interestingly, Banister's attorney admitted that Banister had been paying his federal income taxes (which was apparently why he was not charged with tax evasion), and repeatedly referred to Al Thompson as a "liar" and "convicted felon".

Contrary to the claims of some tax protestors, this case did not even involve the question of the liability for federal income taxes, and did not in any way establish a right to not file tax returns or pay taxes. But with the tax protestor movement losing many significant cases in recent months (Meredith, Simkanin, Thompson, etc.) they'll grasp at even straws.

Pontello, 916-554-2706

November 18, 2004



SACRAMENTO--United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Roger L. Wirth announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a seventeen-count indictment charging JOSEPH BANISTER, 41, of San Jose, California and WALTER A. THOMPSON, 57, of Redding, California with multiple tax crimes.

BANISTER and THOMPSON each are charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service with regard to approximately $259,669 in income and employment taxes during the period of July, 2000 through December 31, 2002. In addition, BANISTER is charged with three counts of aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns for THOMPSON for the 1996, 1997 and 1998 tax years.

In addition to the conspiracy count, THOMPSON is charged with two counts of filing false claims with the IRS, one count of filing a false income tax return with the IRS, and ten counts of willfully failing to collect and pay over approximately $176,215 in taxes from the wages and salaries of employees.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Special Agents.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Robert M. Twiss and Carolyn K. Delaney, who are prosecuting the case, the indictment alleges that THOMPSON owned and operated Cencal Sales ("CENCAL"), an aviation flight bag manufacturing business located in Shasta Lake, California. CENCAL employed a number of hourly wage workers who were predominantly seamstresses, production managers or office workers.

BANISTER, a Certified Public Accountant ("CPA") and former Special Agent in the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, is alleged to have entered into a conspiracy with THOMPSON to remove employees of CENCAL from the taxpayer rolls by no longer withholding employment taxes from wages and salaries, not filing Employer's Quarterly Tax Returns, Form 941, and not providing the employees or the IRS with annual wage or other income statements, Forms W-2 or 1099, as required by law.

The conspiracy count alleges that on July 21, 2000, THOMPSON falsely advised CENCAL employees that the compensation which they received in return for their labor was not "income" within the meaning of the internal revenue laws and that they were not required to pay individual income taxes on the compensation which they received from CENCAL. THOMPSON stopped withholding income and employment taxes from his employees in July of 2000, and stopped filing Employers' Quarterly Tax Returns and Forms W-2 at the same time.

The indictment further alleges that there was a second meeting on October 11, 2000 at which THOMPSON and BANISTER again falsely advised CENCAL employees that the compensation which they received was not "income" and that they were not required to pay individual income taxes on those wages. BANISTER assured the employees of CENCAL that THOMPSON would not lie to them regarding the tax issues.

The indictment further alleges that BANISTER prepared false Amended Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040X , for THOMPSON and his spouse for 1996, 1997 and 1998. THOMPSON had filed returns for these three years, reporting over $300,000 in total income for the three years and substantial taxes. The amended returns purported to reduce the amount of income and tax in each year to $0, and sought refunds of approximately $65,000 for 1996 and 1997, and to eliminate a tax liability in the amount of $15,500 for 1998. THOMPSON signed and filed the fraudulent amended returns with the Internal Revenue Service at the Fresno Service Center.

Ten counts of the indictment charge THOMPSON with willfully failing to deduct, collect, account for and pay over to the IRS those federal income and employment taxes due on the wages paid to the employees of CENCAL between July 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002.

"The blatant and far-reaching defrauding of honest taxpayers by these two individuals warrants an aggressive federal prosecution. This case should serve as a stark reminder to our citizens that caution should be heeded when approached by those advocating wild theories as to why one does not have to obey federal tax laws," stated United States Attorney Scott.

"Joe Banister, a former IRS agent, knew exactly what he was doing. Tax professionals and employers who break the law will be held accountable," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson.

According to IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Roger Wirth, "Taxpayers shouldn't be taken in by false descriptions of the law or misrepresentations of the facts. Dozens of taxpayers were adversely affected by the actions of Mr. Banister and Mr. Thompson."

If convicted of all counts with which they are charged, the maximum penalty to which defendant BANISTER could be sentenced is imprisonment for 14 years and a fine of $1,000,000. The maximum penalty to which defendant THOMPSON could be sentenced if convicted of all counts is imprisonment for 68 years and a fine of $3,500,000.

The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

CPA’s Appeal of Disbarment Denied

IR-2004-93, July 13, 2004

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department has denied the appeal of Joseph R. Banister from an administrative law judge’s decision that Banister be disbarred from practice before the Internal Revenue Service. Banister is a Certified Public Accountant from San Jose and former IRS criminal investigation agent.

The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, in a complaint against Banister, alleged that he was misrepresenting the law to taxpayers and that he failed to file his own federal income tax returns for tax years 1999-2002. OPR investigates allegations of disreputable conduct and incompetence against tax practitioners and enforces the standards of practice for those who represent taxpayers before the IRS, as detailed in Treasury Department Circular 230.

Judge William B. Moran in a Dec. 24, 2003, decision found that Banister provided erroneous advice to taxpayers, including improperly advising them that returns were not required because Sections 861 through 865 of the Internal Revenue Code define “source of income” in a manner which excluded the income of U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. from U.S. tax. Banister also provided erroneous advice that they were not required to file returns because the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was not properly ratified. The original complaint against Banister was later amended to charge Banister with not filing his own returns for tax years 1999-2002.

Banister filed an appeal of the judge’s decision with the Department of the Treasury, citing numerous alleged errors. In a decision dated June 25, 2004, David F.P. O’Connor, acting under a delegation from the Secretary of the Treasury, affirmed Judge Moran’s decision regarding erroneous advice to taxpayers. O’Connor found that the Office of Professional Responsibility had not met its burden of proof with respect to the charge that Banister had failed to file his own returns. He did not send the case back to Judge Moran for further proceedings, during which the Office of Professional Responsibility could have introduced the required additional evidence, because O’Connor agreed with Judge Moran that the charges related to erroneous advice to taxpayers alone warranted disbarment from practice before the IRS.

In rejecting Banister’s claim that his advice to clients was protected speech, and that sanctions under Circular 230 should not restrain zealous advocacy on behalf of taxpayers, O’Connor said “zealous advocacy does not constitute license for the assertion of frivolous positions.” O’Connor noted a number of court decisions in which Banister’s positions on Section 861 and the 16th Amendment have been rejected. He agreed with the spirit of Judge Moran’s statement that “the 861 argument and the non-ratified Sixteenth Amendment argument share a related lunacy in that, for differently concocted reasons, neither accomplishes the presumed goal of creating a Federal income tax on U.S. citizens.”

In addressing the charges related to Banister’s failure to file his own tax returns, O’Connor found that the Office of Professional Responsibility had not met its burden of proof. The missing element was evidence that Mr. Banister had gross income sufficient to trigger a filing obligation in each of the cited tax years.

O’Connor considered and rejected a number of claims that Banister raised regarding the fairness of the discipline process and his opportunity to present his case to the Administrative Law Judge. As a result of this decision, Banister has been disbarred from representing taxpayers before the IRS. He may appeal the decision to U.S. District Court.

Links on

Thurston Bell says Joe Banister is a Scam Artist


Notice of Academic Deficiency


There just seems to be an endless number of people out here on the internet, who, without credentials, positive accomplishments, or evidence of prior experience or knowledge of their work on the Internet, and who also believe that they have some argument "worthy" of hearing by the federal courts, will ask that YOU send them some money. There are in fact SO MANY of these people, that I could spend every day for the rest of my life arguing against and exposing them. This will do nothing but serve the wishes of the Treasury Department.

I have to learn to trust that individuals can be responsible for themselves, can show prudence, and judge that which is sent to them over the World Wide Web.

When it comes to IRS lawsuits, I can only share a few points of certainty regarding the issues of lawsuits.

A: The Federal Courts do NOT want to rule in YOUR favor because;

B: No Federal Judge wants to be the Federal Judge who collapses the House of Cards known as the Economic Stabilization Program.

C: The Government and the Judge will use Rule 12(b)(6) to throw your case out at the drop of a hat. That rule is: Failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

D: The Courts and the Government will look for the weakest point of your argument and they will rule on that one and ignore the rest of the issues.

So, if someone is sending an e-mail regarding wanting money from you to help support a case where there is no specifically damaged plaintiff and there are multiple arguments, I will not respond to such e-mails.

If you are seriously considering spreading news of or financially supporting the ideas of such people who have discovered the Internet as a means of conning people out of money, instead of sending me their e-mail please write back to them and ask them what their credentials are, what results have they had, what is their area of expertise and experience, and do they have references from anyone that you might hold in esteem.

This how the Establishments of Academia control discussions and discourse. (References are important.) And believe me folks, if someone out there was doing something that you needed to know about, I would have told you already. And if they don't have the guts to come to me directly and seek counsel with people like me who have results, they certainly are NOT worth your time and effort.

Thurston P. Bell


NITE has VERY strict standards about following the letter of the Law. The people and organizations listed below use arguments that the courts have already deemed frivolous, and make all sorts of claims with no results to show for themselves. While some have truth mixed in with lies, there is just enough truth to get people tangled into their web. Some of these people are academic plagiarists who have been using NITE's work product and claiming it as their own and / or intermingling our argument with frivolous res judicata patriot arguments. Many of these people / organizations are networked (i.e. working together). A few of them are SHAM trust salesmen / women. Therefore, we can truthfully say that from our experience and first hand knowledge, the following people are "Snake Oil" peddlers and / or CON-men/women who do not deserve your trust:

Al Adask;
Al Beyer;
Al Thompson;
American Rights Litigators;
American Tax Consultants;
Barry Konicov;
Big Al;
Bill Benson;
Bill "William" Conklin;
Bill Drexler;
Bob Schulz;
Brad Barnhill;
Bruce Hatcher;
Chad Prater;
Christopher H. Hansen;
Christopher M. Hansen;
Dale Livingston;
Dan Meador;
Dave Bosset;
Dave Champion;
Dennis MacPhaeddon ;
Devvy Kidd;
Dick Simkanin;
Don Proctor;
Ed Akehurst;
Eddie Kahn;
Ed "Eduardo" Rivera;
Edmund Fitzsimmons;
Erwin Rommel School of Law;
Financial Fortress;
Financial Prosperity;
Freedom Above Fortune;
Freedom Hall;
Freedom Law School;
Free Enterprise Society;
Gordon Phillips;
Howard Freeman;
Inform America;
Institute of Global Prosperity;
IRS Decoder;
Irwin Schiff;
Jeff Dickstein;
Jack Cohen;
Jim Deal;
John Feld;
John Gliha;
John Hecht;
John B. Kotmair;
Joseph Banister;
Joy Foundation;
Justin Garriott;
Ken "The Hornet" Hunter;
Lamar Hardy, Hawaii;
Larry "Lowell" Becraft;
Law Research Registry;
Les Hollingshead;
Lynda Wahl;
Lynn Meridith;
Marcia Doerr;
Mel Stamper;
Pat Patton;
Paul Lienthall;
Richard Cornforth;
Richard Standring;
Right Way Law;
Save-A-Patriot Fellowship (SAPF);
Sean O'Hara;
Solutions Group;
Steve DeLuca (S.T. Fitzgerald, Thomas Luca, other alisases)
Steven Swan;
Steven Beresford;
Supreme Law Firm;
Tax Ax; (NOT;
Tax Statement;
The Informer;
Tom Scambos;
Tom Smith (Alleged Doctor);
Treasury Tax Secrets;
Virginia Cropsey a/k/a Little Red Hen
Wallace Institute ( A Disgrace to William Wallace and Clan Wallace);
Wayne C. Bentson
"We The People Foundation"

Review Pending
Paul Sulla, Attorney

People who do not seem to understand have not seen as many people as Mr. Bell has seen, get hurt. They lose their property, jobs, paychecks, and / or families. They obviously do not have the discernment to understand how vitally important this issue is, and how we MUST stay on point or lose.

There is no room for those who claim it is their 1st Amendment Right for supporting people who are espousing such res judicata arguments. The courts and the Kotmair case made it clear. Guilt by association is NOW supported by CASE LAW.

Thurston Bell says those who follow Joe Banister's advice will be convicted of tax evasion:

-----Original Message-----
From: Al Thompson []
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2001 6:23 PM
Subject: Fw: indictments against business owners who follow Banister

Al Thompson
Cencal Aviation Products
800 423-6225 International 1 530 275-0667
Fax 530 275-0837

----- Original Message -----
From: Desk of Thurston P. Bell
To: Al Thompson;
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2001 2:49 PM
Subject: indictments against business owners who follow Banister

Dick and Al:

In response to the Feb 10 David Cay Johnston article regarding the threats of prosecution against business owners for tax evasion, NITE is going public to advocate for Nick Jesson of NTD Electronics. We should have great success with Nick's case since he has stuck with my arguments since the very beginning and has not wavered.

Joe Banister's arguments are doomed to fail in the courts and those who follow his ideas are doomed to face criminal tax evasion charges. In consideration of the fact that you have used NITE arguments in the past, I would like to afford you another opportunity to work with my method. My retainer cost is $25,000 since I have the only argument that will keep you out of jail. My only other condition is that you renounce Banister and everyone else with flawed arguments and stick to my guns.

Feel free to contact me regarding this, but I advise you to move swiftly because NITE will be moving very soon on this.

Thurston Bell


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