Butler says he won't file Idaho tax return

Spokane Spokesman Review/December 12, 2000
By Coeur d'Alene

Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler told creditors he has not filed an Idaho income tax return since he bought his Hayden Lake property in 1972. He added that he does not plan to submit a return for the year 2000.

"I have nothing to file," Butler said as he met with creditors on Monday at the U.S. District Court building. During a short meeting, Joe Charney of the Idaho Tax Commission asked Butler whether he had ever filed an Idaho income tax return since coming to the state to start the Church of Jesus Christ Christian Aryan.

"The church was founded out of my savings," Butler said. "It's practically all spent now."

He said a monthly $690 Social Security check has covered his personal expenses. Butler expressed surprise at Charney's questions.

"You're the first man from Idaho who's ever talked to me. I've been up here 25 years," he said.

Butler, who represented himself at the meeting, said no bankruptcy attorney in Idaho, Washington or Montana would handle his case.

"This is an unwritten conspiracy by anti-Christ people to shut me up," he said. "I'm a little upset about it."

Butler, 82, has moved from his 20-acre compound into a house in Hayden. Vincent Bertollini, backer of the white supremacist 11th-Hour Remnant Messenger, purchased the house.

A jury determined on Sept. 7 that Butler was 90 percent responsible for an attack by Aryan Nations security guards on Victoria and Jason Keenan as they drove past Butler's compound on July 1, 1998.

The $6.3 million verdict against Butler and three of his Aryan Nations followers immediately forced the Aryan Nations leader to declare bankruptcy.

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