From the June 2007 Idaho Observer:

The Golden Girls: New faces of hardcore American criminality

While Ingri and I, as representatives of The IO and members of the 9/11 Visibility Project—Idaho, were attending the 9/11 Accountability conference in Chandler, AZ, last February, we snuck away long enough to visit Cindy Neun. Cindy is Irwin Schiff’s tax honesty partner and co-defendant in a lawless (as admitted in open court by Nevada Federal District Judge Dawson) income tax persecution that resulted in Neun and Schiff receiving 6 and 12 years in prison respectively.

While talking with Cindy in a sunny, outdoor visiting area, she described her association with a group of women known as the "Golden Girls" (one of whom we met). They are between 50 and 80 years old, have never been in trouble before in their lives, raised families and have property.

Excuse me: "...and had property." The details of each "case" could fill pages since they are not just maliciously prosecuted cases, but are the entire lives of decent, salt-of-the-earth-type Americans that were lived, apparently—not to be a blessing to their families, friends and communities—so the federal government could harvest them in their sunset years.

Below is a sketch of our Golden Girls. The main lesson being taught here is this: The system has become a monster that cannot support itself on taxes alone and, with each passing day, requires larger and larger sums of cash to keep feeding its growing appetite. So, what it’s doing now is finding ways to prosecute landowners so they can throw them in prison and steal and liquidate their property.

If you are looking for a sign that the federal government has just about bottomed out, it’s hard to get lower than creating convictions to steal private property from decent people. (DWH)

Last month we ran a photo of income tax honesty movement icon Irwin Schiff reading The IO from the federal pen at Fort Dix, NJ, and an article updating his ongoing attempts to obtain relief through the courts. Not to be outdone, Schiff’s co-defendant (partner in non-crime) Cindy Neun sent this photo of "the Golden Girls" from the Womens Federal Prison Camp north of Phoenix, AZ. Sorry, Irwin, your photo was really neat, but Cindy trumped you on this one.

Back row from left: Nellie Gober, Julie Jacobsen, Janice Schmidt, Gloria Huard Wade and Kristen Heille. Front Row from left: Patricia Ensign, Cindy Neun.

Nellie Gober:

Arrested at age 65, is currently 69. Government charged her with growing over 100 plants—cannabis sativa—hemp. At the time of her arrest during a midnight raid of her home, she was in the possession 16 guns; some antiques inherited from her mother and others for hunting and predator control on her 160-acre ranch near Durango, Colorado, with water rights dating back to the 1800s.

Nellie raised organic Black Angus cattle and sheep. She had a cow-calf operation and the sheep provided wool and meat.

With no prior criminal history, the feds forced her to sign a plea agreement or face 30-40 years in prison. "I signed an agreement with the prosecutor stating I would not fight the federal government on the taking of my property and the prosecutor would not bring the gun charges and would not ask for more than five years," Nellie said.

Nellie is a very kind and thoughtful woman who spins and weaves. The government investigated her grown children and couldn’t get them on anything. Her entire life was in the house and acreage.

Julie Jacobsen:

At 54, Julie pled "guilty" to one charge of tax evasion after a seven-year pretrial process left her emotionally and financially devastated. As a non-violent, first-time "offender," Julie was sentenced to 18 months and three years supervised release after signing a plea agreement to forego trial at which she would face 25 years on five counts.

Ingri and I met Julie, a widow from Gilette, Wyoming and were impressed with her intelligence and character. She is the law librarian at the prison and is known for providing valuable counsel and insight (and humor) to many seeking remedy in law. Julie commented that she finally decided to go to prison to gain her freedom from the federal agents, attorneys and judges that had invaded and controlled every moment of her life for seven years.

Janice Schmidt:

Janice, who just turned 70, signed a plea agreement for five years in lieu of a trial where prosecutors would seek 25 years for an alleged crime of investment fraud. Her plea, even though she is innocent, came after Janice had already lost her family’s farm in Nebraska (before trial!) and had experienced six months of shakedowns, strip searches and other severe conditions in a county jail. The judge ignored the agreement and gave Janice nine years. She is appealing her sentence.

Janice’s husband, Norman Schmidt, did not plea, is currently on trial for the same case and same alleged offenses. We wonder if Janice will be forced to serve out her sentence if her husband is acquitted at trial.

Gloria Huard-Wade:

Both Gloria, 60, and her beloved husband Joseph were busted for growing marijuana in Washington state after six heavily armed men appeared at their door at 11:30 one night without a search warrant, and searched their home until 4:30 a.m. after threatening to kill their dog.

The pretrial process lasted 2 1/2 years. Gloria and Joseph were threatened with 10 and 30 years respectively if they insisted on taking their case to trial. Under duress, they pled and got two and three years respectively as first time offenders.

The Golden Girls:

According to Cindy Neun, "Around the prison camp, these four women are known as "The Golden Girls." They all work in the education building either as tutors or as librarians. When they are not working they are usually seen crocheting, reading, visiting or attending chapel together. They crochet projects to benefit the homeless population. Many young inmates go to them seeking words of wisdom and important advice—the very caring and experience their children and grandchildren should be enjoying...for all of the plea agreements, made under threat, duress and coercion, are void.

Patricia Ensign:

Patricia, 55, is a political prisoner. She co-founded Innovative Financial Consultants with Denis Posely. The trial, with three other defendants, went on for four months. It was determined that, individually, nothing Patricia or her co-defentants did was criminal but collectively...She was sentenced to 18 months and three years supervised release—and ordered to pay her taxes.

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