Hero or villain?


People will go to any lengths to keep their finances secret and avoid paying taxes — even handing their cash over to a man running a bank out of his house.

According to court records, Robert Arant, from Des Moines, Washington, ran a so-called “warehouse bank” named Olympic Business Systems which had hundreds of customers. The IRS has filed a civil case alleging he promoted abusive tax shelters and unlawfully interfered with revenue laws.

The documents claim he took customers’ cash and pooled it in various accounts with legitimate banks. He would then pay customers’ bills from said accounts, charging $75 annually for the service plus assorted maintenance fees (such as for wire transfers). IRS agent Susan Killingsworth said Arant’s clients could buy debit cards for $30 with which they could access their money.

He apparently advertised his company as being for people “who would rather not deal directly with the banking system”. He doesn’t seem all that put out by the impending civil case.

“It’ll be me against the beast,” he said, before adding the US Government is “a beast with no teeth”.

So I ask you digital reader, is this man a hero or a villain? Should we respect him for defying the state and system, or revile him for transgressing said system?

Read the full story at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


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