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Updated 1/10/2013
2011 Form 990

Updated 6/22/2011
3ABN sued
over Tommy!

Added 3/14/2010
Can 3ABN Survive?

Added 11/16/2010
Judge Rejects
Plea Deal

Updated 4/2/2010
Tommy Shelton

Must Read:
Mom in Pain #1

Mene, Mene,
Tekel, Parsin

The Actual Lawsuit
IRS Criminal Investigation

Did Danny Shelton Commit Perjury
When He Signed the 1998 Form 990?

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With still no hint from 3ABN ex-president Danny Shelton that he intends to back off of the lawsuit, we venture to post the following regarding his signing of 3ABN's 1998 Form 990 under penalty of perjury, even though it contained false information.

Why Would We Post This?

Danny Shelton "Asked" Us To

Why would we post this? Because essentially, Danny Shelton, 3ABN, and their team of high-powered, well-paid attorneys "asked" us to, and if we don't comply with their "request," we have every reason to believe that they will try to take us to the cleaners.

So how did they "ask" us to post this? It has to do with what the lawsuit says we are being sued over, and it is quite specific:

75. Defendants' false statements refer to Plaintiffs' trade, business and profession, contain false accusations of the commission of a crime by both Plaintiffs, and impute serious misconduct to Plaintiffs 3ABN and Danny Shelton and are therefore defamatory per se.

Defamation Per Se

"Defamation per se" is a popular topic amongst Danny Shelton's lawyers. Here's a quote from Gerry Duffy's January 30, 2007, cease and desist letter to Gailon Joy, a quote that pertains to our allegations that Danny covered up the child molestation allegations against his brother Tommy:

The actions you falsely attribute to our clients would be a crime and, as I am sure you are aware, false accusations of criminal conduct constitute defamation per se by you.

And from Danny and 3ABN's memorandum, which tried to convince Judge Saylor to temporarily seal the lawsuit in the hopes of sealing it forever and ever:

Defendants' defamatory statements are libelous, refer to Plaintiffs' trade, business and profession, impute serious misconduct to Plaintiffs and contain false accusations of the commission of a crime by both Plaintiffs, and are, therefore, defamatory per se.

How Does Defamation Per Se Differ from Defamation?

So what is defamation per se, and how does a lawsuit claiming defamation per se differ from a lawsuit claiming mere defamation?

Most jurisdictions recognize "per se" defamation, in which the allegations made by the defendant are presumed to cause damage to the plaintiff. Normally in personal injury litigation, including actions for defamation, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof. Within the context of defamation, that means that the plaintiff must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's statements were false, and that the defendant knew or reasonably should have known them to be false at the time the statements were made. Defamation per se provides a significant exception to that rule: Typically, where the statements made by the defendant constitute defamation per se, the defendant has the burden of proving that the allegations are true.

Typically, the following may consititute defamation per se:

  • Allegations that an unmarried person is unchaste;
  • Allegations that a person is infected with a sexually transmitted disease;
  • Attacks on a person's professional character or standing;
  • Allegations that the person has committed a crime of moral turpitude;

Additionally, some states consider allegations that a married person was unfaithful to constitute defamation per se.

("Defamation of Character")

Thus, instead of Danny having to prove that what we have said is false, as would be required in a typical defamation lawsuit, we instead must prove that what we have said is true, since, Danny Shelton alleges, we have accused him of a crime, an accusation which is considered defamation per se.

So in order to defend ourselves in this lawsuit, we have to prove that Danny really has committed a crime.

What Crime Does Danny Think We Have Accused Him Of?

But what crime have we allegedly accused Danny of committing? From the lawsuit again:

46. ... Among those untrue statements made by Joy and Pickle are, inter alia, that:


g. 3ABN Board members have personally enriched themselves as officers and directors of 3ABN in violation of the Internal Revenue Code.

Danny has made it quite simple and precise for us regarding how we have to defend ourselves in this lawsuit. We must seek to prove that it is in fact true that Danny Lee Shelton violated the Internal Revenue Code.

3ABN's 1998 Form 990: Danny Signed It Under Penalty of Perjury

Anyone who wishes may download the 1998 Form 990 from the IRS's website. Just above where the signature goes on page 6 it reads:

Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return, including accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete. Declaration of preparer (other than officer) is based on all information of which preparer has any knowledge.

And who signed 3ABN's 1998 Form 990? The copy posted online at Guidestar has most of the signature area blacked out, but Danny Shelton's name can still be made out:

3ABN's 1998 Form 990: No Section 4958 Excess Benefit Transactions

Line 89b on page 5 of the 1998 Form 990 asks the following question:

Did the organization engage in any section 4958 excess benefit transaction during the year? If "Yes," attach a statement explaining each transaction

So what is a section 4958 excess benefit transaction? From the 1998 Form 990 instructions, also downloadable from the IRS's website, we read the following under General Instruction P on page 9:

An excess benefit transaction subject to tax under section 4958 is any transaction in which an economic benefit provided by an applicable tax-exempt organization to, or for the use of, any disqualified person exceeds the value of consideration received by the organization in exchange for the benefit.

Thus, if a disqualified person gave $10 to 3ABN and received something worth $1,000 in return, that would be a section 4958 excess benefit transaction.

Who would be a disqualified person? Anyone who had substantial influence over the affairs of 3ABN for a stated period of time. Such persons might include the officers, directors, or founders of 3ABN, or certain of their family members. Since Danny Shelton just so happens to be an officer, director, and founder, he is definitely a disqualified person.

By signing 3ABN's 1998 Form 990, Danny Shelton was declaring under penalty of perjury that he had not received anything during 1998 from 3ABN worth more than he had paid 3ABN.

3ABN's 1998 Form 990: $52,781.05 House Sold for $6,129

The first page of attachments for 3ABN's 1998 Form 990 contains the following explanation for "Page 1 Part 1 Line 8C":

Item     Book Value   Gross Value Gain (loss)
Downlink   47,619.57 $250,000.00 $202,380.43
House   52,781.05 6,129.00 (46,652.05)
Piano   0.00 2,000.00 2,000.00

  Totals 100,400.62 258,129.00 $157,728.38

Now since courthouse documents prove that Danny Shelton was the one who paid $6,139 in order to buy the house in question (we're uncertain why the $10 difference between the 990 and the courthouse records), and that he sold it a week later for $135,000, and since the 990 testifies that the house was worth at least $52,781.05, then the above information attached to the 1998 Form 990 proves that 3ABN and Danny Shelton knew that he had received a benefit from 3ABN that was worth more than the $6,129 he paid.

How Danny Might Be Able to Escape the Obvious

Could Danny have forgotten who had bought the house from 3ABN? Was he temporarily suffering from amnesia when he signed the 990? Can anyone think of any other possibilities that might get him off the hook on this one?

Excise Tax for Excess Benefit Transactions

Depending on how the statute of limitations is calculated, those who receive or who participate in excess benefit transactions might be assessed the following excise taxes:

  • A disqualified person who receives an excess benefit could be liable for an excise tax equal to 25% of the value of the benefit.
  • If that disqualified person does not "correct" the excess benefit within a stated period of time, the excise tax jumps from 25% to 200%.
  • Organization managers, such as directors or officers, who participated in the excess benefit transaction might be accessed an excise tax of 10% of the value of the benefit, up to $10,000 ($20,000 for tax years beginning after August 17, 2006).

Now if the statute of limitations hasn't run out on this one, there might be a number of unhappy past and present 3ABN Board members, for according to Dr. Walt Thompson, the 3ABN Board definitely participated in the transaction whereby Danny bought a $135,000 asset from 3ABN for only $6,139:

From:  Walt Thompson
To:  ******
Subject:  Re: Property Transfer??
Date:  Jun 22, 2007 9:02 AM

Dear ******,

According to all of the information I have, the property transfer was a perfectly legal transaction. It was worked out by an attorney employed by the Church at the time working with Wills, Trusts, etc. The property in question was bought by a 3abn board member. After some time, it was donated to 3abn with a life estate to Danny and Linda, meaning that so long as either of them lived, the house was their's. After both of their deaths, the property could be disposed of and the proceeds used by 3abn. Some time after this, Danny and Linda decided they would like to build a house so as to build up some equity for retirement, being as 3abn did not provide retirement benefits to its employees. It was then that they approached the board and requested that they purchase the house they were living in from 3abn for the amount of its value at the end of their lives as calculated by tables designed for that purpose. Our board saw no problem with this, and voted to proceed accordingly. Thus, the house was purchased by a board member who chose to help Danny and Linda. It involved no funds designated for 3abn activities.

I hope this explanation is helpful. I may not have all of the terminology correct, but I think the concept is clear.

God bless,

Walter Thompson
Chairman, 3abn board

We are uncertain whether Walt Thompson is correct that both Danny and Linda approached the board. While he may be correct, if he is not, it wouldn't be the first discrepancy that we have found. At any rate, according to Walt Thompson, chairman of the 3ABN Board, the Board definitely participated in the excess benefit transaction, and thus, if the statute of limitations has not run out, each board member could be assessed $10,000 apiece by the IRS.

Both Plaintiffs Violated the Internal Revenue Code

What it looks like we have ended up with is a pretty convincing case that indicates that not just Danny but also the 3ABN Board violated the Internal Revenue Code, and even "saw no problem with" doing what constituted the violation. Thus, both plaintiffs in the lawsuit, both Danny and 3ABN (as represented by its board of directors) look like they are going to have a hard time winning the lawsuit against us over the issue of defamation per se.

Anyone see an aspect of the lawsuit that 3ABN and/or ex-president Danny just possibly might be able to win? If you do see something, please let them or their high-powered and well-paid lawyers know at your earliest convenience. They will be most appreciative.

And while you're talking with them, ask them how 3ABN will be able to pay for Danny Shelton's personal expenses incurred by this lawsuit without the IRS concluding that this is yet another example of personal inurement or excess benefits. If only Danny had sued as 3ABN President rather than as an individual. And if only the members of the 3ABN Board had not voted for a lawsuit which named "Danny Shelton, individually," as a plaintiff. Otherwise, that could just possibly mean that each board member will get assessed 10% of Danny's 3ABN-paid legal expenses up to a limit of $20,000.

Can God Forgive Danny?

Can God forgive Danny? Absolutely! Read this precious promise from Scripture:

Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. (Ezekiel 33:12-16)

It doesn't matter what any of us have done, for if we are willing to fulfill the conditions of this promise by the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Judge of all the earth will freely pardon and forgive.

In light of the conditions for forgiveness set forth in the above Bible passage, it concerns us to hear rumors of Danny being offered a retirement package. At this point it sounds like Danny may owe 3ABN, rather than vice versa.

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