OF TAX HONESTY MOVEMENT SUED
Famed criminal defense attorney, Lowell Becraft, Jr., of Huntsville, Alabama, who has handed the IRS many a staggering defeat, has filed a lawsuit against Bob Schulz, Chairman of We the People Foundation for Constitutional Education, Inc., for the conversion and unauthorized distribution and sale of of his research.
NWVs has obtained a copy of the lawsuit based on the violation a non disclosure agreement which was entered into between Becraft and Schulz on April 19, 2004. NWVs has a copy of this signed non disclosure agreement which reads in part:
"II. NON-DISCLOSURE. Confidential information ("Information") of the Parties and/or their assignees shall mean information that the Parties desires to protect against unauthorized use or disclosure, and which is furnished under this Agreement as: (a) WRITTEN or other tangible information clearly marked with a notice such as "Confidential"; and/or (b) ORAL information that is specifically identified at the time of disclosure as being confidential, and then, within two weeks after such disclosure, the information is described generally in a writing marked as in (a). The referenced CD containing the above mentioned skeletal outline of the correct application of the federal income tax laws and its contented are deemed “Confidential Information”. Schulz agrees that he will not disclose, directly or indirectly, the contents of the referenced CD or even any summary thereof to any other party without prior written approval obtained from Becraft. Schulz further agrees that he shall not duplicate or copy such CD in any way. Such CD shall remain the property of Becraft and shall be returned when requested.
"This duty of non-disclosure expressly includes any disclosure of the substance of the legal argument contained on the referenced CD to Schulz’s family members, employees, friends, associates, clients, or any other parties, including those employed by any government, either local, state or federal. Schulz shall take such measures so as to insure that such legal argument is not acquired by any other party in any manner not contemplated by this agreement. In the event Schulz deems it beneficial for this legal argument to be disclosed to any other party, he shall obtain Becraft’s written consent.
"Confidential Information shall not include information that: (a) is publicly disclosed without a breach of this Agreement, (b) is known to the recipient prior to the time of disclosure, or is independently developed by the recipient without using any Information, or (c) is obtained from another source that the recipient has no reasonable cause to believe is under any obligation of confidentiality with respect to Information.
"III. PROTECTION. The Parties agree that as a recipient of Confidential Information they will treat it as proprietary and confidential, safeguarding the Information at least as carefully as it would its own confidential information, and will use all reasonable efforts to prevent any unauthorized use or disclosure, including restricting access to the Information within its organization to only those that the Parties agree shall comply with this Agreement. A recipient will not disclose any Information to any third party without prior written consent. Either party learning of any unauthorized use or disclosure of any Information will promptly notify the other party, and will reasonably cooperate with efforts to protect such Information.
"IV. DISCLOSURE. It is agreed that Becraft shall exercise complete and exclusive authority regarding the disclosure of the information and legal argument contained on the attached CD to any other party. Any other individual to whom disclosure of the same is desired shall be approved by Becraft and such party shall execute a non-disclosure agreement reasonably similar to this non-disclosure agreement."
Becraft provided Schulz his research on a CD after Schulz signed the non disclosure agreement on April 19, 2004. On May 10, 2004, Schulz, without written or oral consent from Becraft, posted the entire contents of Becraft's CD (research) to his web site with an offering that for $40.00, anyone could purchase Becraft's research on a CD. This post declared that all proceeds would go to the "anonymous researcher."
On or about May 11, 2004, again without Becraft’s written or oral approval, Schulz, via e-mail, informed his entire membership list, approximately 63,000 in number, of the availability of Becraft’s confidential work product on his website. No mention was made that such research and work product was Becraft’s and belonged to him.
According to Becraft, he never gave Schulz any permission to sell his research on a CD ob Schulz' web site and had repeatedly attempted to get Schulz to remove his work from WTP's site. "I never gave Schulz permission to sell my work on a CD nor did I ever ask for the proceeds," declares Becraft. "All of this was done without my permission and to say I was ambushed sided is an understatement."
As a result of Becraft's demand that Schulz remove the language offering his CD for sale with proceeds going to Becraft, Schulz, against his long standing policy of not changing the text in any posting on his web site, then changed the offering in the original post May 10, 2004, to read: "Note: By request of the researcher, ALL donations for copies of this research are being donated to the Dick Simkanin Legal Defense Fund." Such a claim has been emphatically denied by Becraft.
Since the posting of Becraft's confidential work on Schulz' web site on May 10, 2004, Becraft has by telephone and via e-mail, requested of both Schulz and his web master, Mike Bodine, that the unauthorized disclosure of Becraft’s confidential work product protected under the non-disclosure agreement, be removed from the Defendants’ web site. All reasonable requests have been adamantly refused by both Schulz and Bodine.
NWVs has obtained a confidential memo from one of Schulz' strongest supporters in Texas which reads in part:
"Again, I ask that you please fall on your sword for the Tax Honesty movement and remove Larry's work. Most people that try to use the work in the state that it is in will not and do not know how to use it properly, which will most likely result in long lasting negative effects on everyone else in the movement..."
In response to the question of what will happen to the tax movement as a result of this lawsuit, a Washington, DC based attorney intimately familiar with this dispute who wishes to remain anonymous, said, "The tax movement will still continue. That isn't the issue here. The issue is that Schulz proceeded in an unethical manner and violated a legal non disclosure agreement. He's also in violation of certain copyright laws. The issue is accountability and you cannot excuse this type of behavior just to preserve the illusion of honest leadership."
Having exhausted all efforts to get Schulz to remove his work and cease from selling it on his web site, Becraft felt he had no other choice but to file a lawsuit against him. To date, the misappropriated research and offering of the CD remain on Schulz' web site.
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"Having exhausted all efforts to get Schulz to remove his work and cease from selling it on his web site, Becraft felt he had no other choice but to file a lawsuit against him."