Vern Holland & Dave Mauldin
(posted Aug. 28, 2017)

Vern Holland, an Okie, started Freeman Education Association in 1983, the purpose of which was to challenge abusive and unconstitutional actions of the federal government and the States. FEA was based in Tulsa, and Vern and his partner, Dave Mauldin, assisted people with all sorts of legal problems, including those involving the IRS. Eventually, Vern decided to write a book about the federal income tax, The Law That Always Was, the premise of which was that a federal income tax was a direct tax, even considering the 16th Amendment. If you have not read this book, it is linked on this site.

Vern and Dave also performed services for FEA members, which included financial services in cash. This drew the ire of the IRS, eventually resulting in both Vern and Dave being indicted in February, 1990, shortly after the defendants in the Sanders case had been arrested. I represented Vern and Jeff Dickstein represented Dave. Trial started in late August, 1990, and consumed the next 18 trial days. On September 18, 1990, after 3 days of deliberations, the jury reported that it was hung, and the judge declared a mistrial. Also because of events at that trial, the judge revoked Jeff’s pro hac vice admission and thus he could no longer represent Dave.

After we left the courthouse and went over to Vern’s office to relax, 5 of the jurors came over there and joined FEA. The forelady of the jury was so enthused about her experience, she decided to go to law school. In proceedings in this case in later years, the forelady would appear with me in court as my paralegal.  We consumed lots of time after that trial pursuing two appeals asserting the defendants' right not to be retried. See United States v. Holland, 956 F.2d 990 (10th Cir. 1992), and United States v. Holland, 19 F.3d 1444 (10th Cir. 1994). By this time, Bill Cohan was representing Dave. Vern was on the speaker's circuit.

As the years passed regarding this case, everyone was getting tired of it, including Vern and Dave. The special agent was involved in a notorious auto accident, and the prosecutors wanted to end this case. Eventually, we made a deal. This indictment would be dismissed, and Vern and Dave would plead to an information charging willful failure to file tax returns (old offenses to which we waived the statute of limitations). Vern and Dave got 30 days of community service.

In later years, Vern was a paralegal for me as he was before this case started. Vern died in December, 2006, and Dave died of cancer in March, 2016. People involved in the tax movement owe a lot to these two war-horses.