By Terri Eyden
Ronald Weinland ‒ the "doomsday prophet ‒ was found guilty of federal tax evasion on June 13, 2012. It appears the jury didn't buy in to Weinland's excuse: he didn't pay his taxes because he believed the end of the world would soon be upon us.
However, apparently he did believe the money he funneled into the Swiss banking system would be spared from the "end of times."
Weinland runs a church from his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, and delivers sermons via the Internet. In 2006, he predicted the world would end September 30, 2008. When that didn't pan out for him, he changed the date to May 27, 2012. When May 27 came and went, he revised his calculation yet again - now it's May 19, 2013.
During the trial, he was asked the question: If you thought the end of the world was near, would you pay your taxes? Weinland said he wouldn't.
And, indeed, Weinland avoided paying more than $357,065 in taxes between 2005 and 2010 by moving money into a foreign bank account, lying on his tax forms, and writing off personal expenses ‒ a stay at The Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, tickets to the Blue Man Group, shopping trips to Nordstrom, a home security system, and more. Forbes reported that he lives in a $400,000 home, with closets full of expensive suits.
Weinland was found guilty on five counts of tax evasion, according to Northern Kentucky News, and was put on house arrest after posting a $300,000 bond. He'll be sentenced September 24 and faces five years in prison.