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Criminal convictions and financial penalties do not violate double jeopardy

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A business owner will have to serve his sentence after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his argument that his criminal convictions and financial penalties imposed for failing to pay taxes violated double jeopardy principles.

Tuan Chu did not pay state and local income taxes or remit the sales tax he collected for the glass repair business he operated.

First, a judgment was entered against Chu in the amount of $280,326.62. Then he was convicted of three counts of Class D felony evasion of income tax, three counts of Class D felony theft, and one count of Class D felony failure to remit or collect sales tax.
 
Chu appealed his convictions, arguing that the nonpayment penalties and his criminal convictions violate double jeopardy because he was improperly being punished twice for he same conduct.

In Tuan Chu v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1210-CR-495, the COA affirmed Chu’s convictions, concluding that Chu did not show that the assessment of nonpayment penalties and the criminal convictions violate United States or Indiana double jeopardy principles.

Chu cited Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290 (Ind. 1995), to support his assertion that the tax penalty was a punishment. However, the Court of Appeals pointed out that Bryant relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 109 S. Ct. 1892 (1989), which has since been nullified by Hudson v. United States, 522 U.S. 93, 118 S. Ct. 488 (1997).

Even if Bryant was still good law, the court stated it was not convinced the nonpayment penalties assessed to Chu are punishments. And, it disagreed with Chu’s assertion that not only was the imposition of the nonpayment penalties dependent of the state’s decision to prosecute him for failure to pay taxes but also that the Indiana Department of Revenue’s use of jeopardy assessments was punitive.   

“Chu, however, does not explain what socially undesirable activity the Department was seeking to eliminate when it issued the jeopardy assessments against him, nor does he assert that the jeopardy assessments were issued in the absence of the necessary statutory requirements,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the court. “Without more, we are not convinced that the issuance of jeopardy assessments rendered the nonpayment penalties punitive.”

 
 

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  • Constitution
    The judges and justices of the Indiana court of appeals as well as the Indiana state supreme court and the United States supreme court, need to read the constitution and start executing law as stated by the constitution. I never saw a footnote in any copy of the constitution, that stated that the constitution should be interpreted as judges see necessary to effect convictions of innocent people!

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  1. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  2. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  3. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  4. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

  5. No, Ron Drake is not running against incumbent Larry Bucshon. That’s totally wrong; and destructively misleading to say anything like that. All political candidates, including me in the 8th district, are facing voters, not incumbents. You should not firewall away any of voters’ options. We need them all now more than ever. Right? Y’all have for decades given the Ds and Rs free 24/7/365 coverage of taxpayer-supported promotion at the expense of all alternatives. That’s plenty of head-start, money-in-the-pocket advantage for parties and people that don’t need any more free immunities, powers, privileges and money denied all others. Now it’s time to play fair and let voters know that there are, in fact, options. Much, much better, and not-corrupt options. Liberty or Bust! Andy Horning Libertarian for IN08 USA House of Representatives Freedom, Indiana

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