U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Hawaii
PJKK Federal Building (808) 541-2850
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 6-100 FAX (808) 541-2958
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
May 30, 2006
For Immediate Release
P R E S S R E L E A S E
John David Van Hove, also known as "Johnny Liberty," was sentenced today to 27 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised released, for his role in a tax fraud and wire fraud scheme. Van Hove previously pleaded guilty to one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the tax laws and one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. As part of the sentence, the court ordered Van Hove to pay restitution of approximately $400,000 to investors that he defrauded; these investors were from the states of Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, and New York. Van Hove was also ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service based on income he received as a result of producing promotional materials for the Institute of Global Prosperity.
The tax-related obstruction offense to which Van Hove pleaded guilty arose out of activities related to a financial planning and investment advice business he operated from the island of Maui, Hawaii, as alleged in the indictment returned April 7, 2005. According to documents filed with the court, beginning in 1997, Van Hove offered his clients various schemes for hiding income and assets from the IRS, to include the use of "common law trusts" to conceal ownership and control of assets and income; and the use of offshore trusts with related bank accounts in which assets would be repatriated through the use of a debit card. According to information presented in court, Van Hove also offered to set up international business corporations (IBCs), entities that had no independent economic reality and did not represent actual ongoing business concerns. As alleged in his indictment, Van Hove solicited and obtained money from his clients using a series of misrepresentations and false promises, including offering rates of return of up to 25 percent per month, or 300 percent per year on their investment money. According to information produced in court, most of Van Hove's clients received no profits and lost the entire amount they invested.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Leslie E. Osborne, Jr. and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Michael C. Vasiliadis and Dean H. Secor. The case was investigated by special agents and revenue agents of the IRS, whose assistance was essential to the successful prosecution of this case.