Apparently one of the ways in which to become rich enough to own the first Hawker 4000 BizJet to roll off of the assembly line is to participate in a tax avoidance scheme to raise the capital to purchase it. Imagine how the crew of the bizjet felt when the federal government swooped down and seized their ride as part of a 43-count indictment against your boss.
It seems that the government believes Gary Hall, the owner of a Kansas wholesale tobacco company, and seven of his closest friends have been charged in a scheme to avoid paying $ 25 million in cigarette taxes which should have gone to Oklahoma state and some Indian tribes.
It seems Hall and his wife took delivery of the Hawker 4000 in June which carries a $ 21 million dollar list price tag. The investigation into Hall's activities began in 2005 when the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle carrying some $ 200,000 worth of cigarettes without the required documentation and appropriate tax stamps. According to federal investigators cigarette trafficking cases are complex investigations involving money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.
If Hall is acquitted he will get his airplane back. Guess you could say it has gone up in smoke for the moment, and the government warns us all about the dangers of smoking.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.