Entrance to Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola
The son of imprisoned evangelist Kent Hovind says a judge’s order to seize Creation Science Evangelism properties actually helps clear the path for a fresh start – free of legal trouble – if the Florida-based ministry can raise $170,000 in the next two weeks.
Eric Hovind, who now leads Creation Science Evangelism, or CSE, told WND the federal government has given the ministry notice that the properties – which include the popular theme park Dinosaur Adventure Land – must be vacated by Sept. 15 if the forfeiture amount of $380,000 is not paid. The properties also include three homes.
As WND reported, Kent Hovind, known as “Dr. Dino,” is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for failing to collect and pay withholding taxes, obstructing tax laws and other related charges. His wife, Jo, the bookkeeper for the Hovinds’ ministry in Pensacola, Fla., was convicted of evading bank-reporting requirements and began serving a one-year sentence in January. Kent Hovind has argued he took a vow of poverty as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and, therefore, owns nothing and receives no income.
Eric Hovind said the ministry needs another 1,700 people to give $100 each to buy back the properties, which were ordered last month by U.S. District Judge Casey Rogers to be seized.
Hovind said CSE has a new board of directors, and he looks forward to a “great start to a new ministry that has no legal problems.”
Kent Hovind is appealing his case to the U.S. Supreme Court after a final rejection Feb. 25 by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. The high court is expected to announce next month whether it will accept the case.
The Hovinds’ ministry was launched in 1989 with the aim of winning people to faith in Jesus Christ through debunking evolution and presenting evidence for divine creation. Kent Hovind has offered $250,000 to anyone offering sufficient proof of Darwinian evolution.
Kent Hovind argued he owned nothing and all of his needs were taken care of by the ministry. He said he understood that as a registered 508 non-profit organization, he was not required to withhold taxes, leaving IRS obligations with each worker.
In November 2006, however, he was convicted of failing to collect and pay $470,000 in withholding taxes, obstructing tax laws, structuring transactions totaling $430,500 to avoid financial reporting laws, filing a frivolous lawsuit against the IRS, filing an injunction against an IRS agent and threatening investigators and others who cooperated with the investigation.