Doomsday Prophet Guilty of Tax Evasion

'But the world was ending!' excuse not bought by jurors

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2012 12:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jurors didn't buy a doomsday prophet's excuse that he didn't pay his taxes because he believed the end of the world was nigh. Ronald Weinland, who was found guilty of federal tax evasion Wednesday, apparently believed that the Swiss banking system would survive the apocalypse and second coming of Jesus Christ better than the American one would: He funneled funds from his Ohio-based church into secret Swiss accounts and started carrying gold and gems with him after predicting in 2006 that the world would end in 2008, Forbes reports.

Weinland's lawyers argued that he only put the money in the Swiss accounts because he believed the world was in its "final days," but the prophet himself stumbled under cross-examination as he attempted to explain why, exactly, he deducted expenses like a stay at the Venetian Las Vegas and tickets to the Blue Man Group, reports the Kentucky Enquirer. When the 2008 date came and went, Weinland revised the date to May 27, 2012, the Huffington Post notes. His latest calculation predicts the world will end on May 19, 2013—when he will probably be in jail after sentencing in September.

Weinland, who posted doomsday sermons on YouTube, has been found guilty of federal tax evasion.   (WeinlandSermons)
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