BOB BEDFORD


No one escapes when freedom fails,

The best men rot in filthy jails,

And those who cried, Appease! Appease!

Are hanged by those they tried to please.




          Here follows the latest information I have on Bob Bedford. I include it so you will understand just where Bob is coming from in his excellent devotional below.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


June 1, 2007


COLORADO TAX FRAUD PROMOTER SENTENCED


Scheme Used Offshore Bank Accounts, Phony Loans and Debit Cards to Hide Income and Assets from IRS


DENVER - United States Attorney Troy A. Eid and Terry L. Stuart, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office, today announced the sentencing of ROBERT N. BEDFORD, age 60, Seminole, Florida, by U.S. District Court Judge Walker D. Miller, to serve 42 months (three and one half years) in federal prison, and three years supervised release.


BEDFORD was convicted on December 12, 2006 following a three-week trial, by a federal jury in Denver, Colorado on charges of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Cause the Filing of False Tax Returns (18 U.S.C. §371).


The evidence established that BEDFORD provided legal and tax advice to his co-conspirators on how to circumvent IRS regulations and create false documents designed to disguise the movement of approximately $8 million dollars of unreported income to secret offshore accounts.


In November, 2002, BEDFORD, a resident of Florida, together with PAUL D. HARRIS and LESTER R. RETHERFORD, residents of Colorado, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. According to the evidence presented at trial, the scheme involved setting up shell corporations for businessmen that were used to conceal approximately $8 million in taxable income in secret accounts in the Turks and Caicos Islands and other foreign countries from 1992 through 2001. The evidence also showed that the defendants made it appear as though the offshore transfers were payments for consulting services. To participate in this scheme, businessmen paid initiation fees of up to $50,000. On April 28, 2005, after a nine-week trial, PAUL D. HARRIS and LESTER R. RETHERFORD were convicted of conspiracy and other charges. That jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict as to BEDFORD, necessitating the need for the retrial in 2006.


Assistant United States Attorney Thomas O’Rourke and Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Robert Livermore and Edward E. Russo prosecuted the case. Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation of the case.


****

            I first got acquainted with Bob Bedford when we were both pastors of churches in central Indiana, early in the nineteen-seventies. Bob supplemented his income by doing people’s tax returns. He was a veteran of thousands of tax returns and was quite capable at it. I once preached a revival meeting in the church Bob was pastoring and my late wife and I had fellowship with Bob and his wife Linda in their home. I found them to be God’s children, nice people, and enjoyed their friendship.

            The Lord moved us around and I lost track of him for quite a few years. The next time I saw him he was doing a seminar on taxes for the preachers of The Indiana South District of The Wesleyan Church. When I approached him to renew our acquaintance I had changed sufficiently

that he didn’t immediately recognize me. In those intervening years Bob had studied for admission to the United States Tax Court which is a very, very difficult bar exam to pass. He was admitted to the bar for the tax court, and was licensed to practice tax law all the way to The United States Supreme Court. He was still preaching the gospel and was, I believe, at the time these charges were brought against him the pastor of a church in the St. Petersburg, Florida area.

            I received the following devotional, written by Bob, from a friend via the internet. I then contacted Linda and asked for permission to run it on my web site. She graciously consented. When I contacted her I said that I had, “said from the beginning that Bob hadn’t done anything wrong, unlawful, or even illegal. What he did was something that very powerful people didn’t like and now we have the result.” Folks if you are looking for justice you are on the wrong planet.

            Bob is presently incarcerated at a minimum security facility in Atlanta, Georgia. His case is being appealed and I am informed that he has a very capable lawyer, who was previously a federal prosecutor and is confident of the appeal.

            I suspect that the following devotional by Bob may be a bit much for a lot of professing Christians, but it is right on and well-said nevertheless.


Jim Caniff


 

Reputation: Ruined

Character: Refined

 

Bob Bedford

July 24, 2007

Phil. 2:6-11: Jesus Christ set the example while on earth by what he submitted to. He allowed himself to be born to a poor unmarried woman. That would have been scandalous enough but add to that the enslavement of the country, and the rough travel to Bethlehem, where conditions were even worse than Nazareth. Even for a poor slave, birth in a stable gave an exclamation point to the lowliness of reputation.


It is the stuff that gives opportunity to jeering and condescension as a lad. The taunts that children give each other when they try to lift themselves up by putting others down.


Were told that Jesus learned obedienceas he was growing up, indicating the process of refining of the character of the manof sorrows.


Every person in the scripture that God used went through the process of their reputation being damaged. Noah was thought a fool, Moses was a fugitive criminal, Joseph was imprisoned for false charges and Paul was imprisoned many times, just to name a few.


Throughout biblical and church history, God has shown disdain for reputation. Man looks on the outward, but God looks at the heart. He has allowed his greatest saints to suffer. The great classic, Pilgrims Progress, was written by pauper, John Bunyan, while parked in the Bedford jail.


We all wish that God had a magic wand that he could wave and we would instantly have godly character. The occasional finding of a gold nugget deludes us into thinking that is the norm. We wish to avoid the hard work of mining the gold ore and the even more laborious process of refining that ore into usable gold.


Everyone seems fascinated with resurrection but no one wants crucifixion. We want the results without the process. God knows of no short-cuts.


Ive known many men and especially those in leadership in organizations who are quick to protect their reputation. They are willing to throw people out in violation of biblical principles. Jesus Christ set an entirely different standard. He was willing to be identified with publicans and sinnersopenly and intentionally. He knew that such conduct would gain him the scorn of the religious leaders of the day.


God has shown the redemptive process when he interjected the former prostitute, Rahab, into the lineage of Christ. Jesus added to this when he allowed the prostitute to anoint his feet and then she uses her hair to dry them. He rebuked the criticizers. His challenge to them who brought the women caught in adultery still stands; the one without sin should cast the first stone. (He knew none would ever be cast.)


The ultimate reputation snub was allowing himself to be tried and convicted and hung in open shame along a dirty road north of old Jerusalem. It seems weve totally abandoned The Old Rugged Crossin favor of a respectable religion. We want the favor of our world rather than the offense of the cross.


There is no transforming power in reputation. God works through process we shrink from. We need patience, God sends us tribulation. 2 Pet. 1:4-8; I Pet. 1:6-7.


The only thing that transforms us is grace and grace only comes to us through humility, not success. Since we rarely humble ourselves (James 4:10), God allows humbling circumstances to come into our lives sickness, false accusations, poverty and even imprisonments in order to flood us with grace. That grace transformed us and then begins to overflow into the lives of others.


Paul reached a level of grace that few have obtained and, with it great power, he was able to say he had reached the place where he could glory in his infirmity(II Cor. 12:9-10) that the power of Christ may rest upon him.


I dont know that Ive arrived at that stage yet where I glory in my circumstances. But, Gods grace is strengthening me and Im finding dozens of persons that I can point to Christ. A young pastor told me just yesterday that God has sent you to minister to me. He is here under similar circumstances to mine.


Through grace we can not only survive, we can thrive.


Bob Bedford


REMEMBER:


No one escapes when freedom fails,

The best men rot in filthy jails.

And those who cried, Appease! Appease!

Are hanged by those they tried to please.