If the penalty for breaking the law is a fine, then that law only exists to punish the poor. That’s exactly what the Mormon Church found out recently after they hid BILLIONS of dollars from the government and only had to pay a $5 MILLION dollar penalty for it. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: If the penalty for breaking the law is a fine, then the law only exists to punish the poor. That’s exactly what the Mormon church found out recently after they hid billions of dollars from the government and they only had to pay $5 million as a penalty. We’re talking about 32 to, somewhere between 32 and $35 billion that they hid from the government. They hid from the IRS. They hid from virtually everybody who’s supposed to be watching how they’re spending their money because they don’t pay taxes. You know, can you imagine this cult? It’s no, it’s a Scientology cult. Yeah, there’s a lot of them, a lot more of them than there is of Scientology, but we’re talking about a cult here. And so pick it up from there, would you.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. For 50 years this scam was going on with the, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church, and they’re hiding all this money that they’re getting in, in donations. Nobody outside of this organization knows how much money they even had because it’s all hidden. And after years and years of piling up this money, finally you get the federal government that looks at it and says, oh my God, this is money that, because it’s investment money, not direct money to you, you do have to pay taxes on, you do owe the federal government a little bit of this. So you’ve got your 30 plus billion dollars. Give us 5 million and we’ll call it a day.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Okay. So look, here’s what’s really problematic. They’ve known about this since about 2017 or 2018, as we always expect for the feds, they do nothing about it until a whistleblower says, wait a second. You’ve known about this since 2018. You’re doing nothing about it. They’re stealing money basically, because the reporting of it in and of itself moves money around. Okay. And they have responsibilities with that money. The, they have a responsibility to say, A, where did the money come from? How are you using the money? Is it money that investors put in? Is it money that you’ve collected at your church? It, and they, they’re trying to say, well, we don’t have to pay taxes. So why is it all important? I love this last line. The lawyers, the, the lawyers comment on the fraud. Here’s what they said. Okay. First of all, yes, we lied to the SEC, we lied to the IRS. We agree, we regret our fraud, and we consider this issue closed. The arrogance of that. The arrogance of that. And the, it’s the same SEC understand that let Bernie Madoff steal billions of dollars from people’s, from people’s bank accounts. Bernie Madoff, SEC knew about it for 10 years and they let it go on. This is the same thing, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And if we’re talking about percentage wise, $5 million penalty on $35 billion, we’re talking about, I, I think I’m trying to do the math real quick in my head. It’s either 0.1% or 0.01% of the money that they made off of these investments that they didn’t pay taxes on.

Mike Papantonio: How about this? It ain’t nothing.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: It ain’t nothing. Nobody’s, nobody’s going to, SEC doesn’t put anybody in jail. Department of Justice, you, you know, you know that story.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: And so it’s, so they get away with it. And if you tried that or I tried it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah, we’re gone.

Mike Papantonio: We’re gone, man. We’re going to prison.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.