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Monday, April 21, 2003

Tax Court Rejects Aviation Pioneer's Marriage Fraud

If you want to read the case of Dale A. Rinehart and Jeana L. Yeager for the tax issues (and really, why else would you be reading this blog?), the important issues here involve (1) an example of Tax Court disregarding a State Court decision on a matter that it normally defers to state courts on (the status of a marriage) because Tax Court believes the Supreme Court of the particular state would not uphold the finding if it was a aware of all of the evidence that Tax Court possessed (specifically, that the evidence presented to the State Court in an annulment proceeding was fraudulent), and (2) a reiteration of the sham transaction doctrine in a footnote.

Alternatively, some people may be fascinated at the �where are they now?� aspect of the facts about the life of Jeana L. Yeager. Yeager (who I believe is the daughter of Chuck Yeager, although this case does not confirm this) and Richard G. Rutan flew an aircraft around the world without stopping or refueling in 1986. This was the first such flight ever, and the aircraft they used now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Rutan later sued Yeager, claiming she had misappropriated funds and memorabilia related to their venture. Yeager�s husband (Rinehart) filed for an annulment of their marriage to protect his assets from the lawsuit, and Yeager testified falsely that she had not obtained a final divorce from her previous husband. This case, the third time Rinehart and Yeager have lost in Tax Court, involved penalties stemming from the two of them claiming filing statuses of single rather than married filing separately.

Fascinating. Depressing, but fascinating.

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