"It's class warfare and my class is winning." Warren Buffett

The value of any commodity, ... to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command. Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations Book 1, chapter V.)

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works....(Barack Obama)


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So Did Freebery and Mosley Commit Fraud?

Today we learned that Lisa Dean Moseley, the du Pont heiress, is a benefactor of the winded, the asthmatic and the short of breath.

Testifying today at former NCC official Sherry Freebery’s case, she claimed she gave Freebery $2.3 million to “’give the poor woman a breather’ and let her relax in her life” (link). For some reason, Freebery needed both a home in Hockessin and an oceanfront condo in Dewey Beach to relax her weary bones.

But “gave” is the operative word because Mosley always intended that the money be considered as a gift. All that business about it being a loan—well, that was just to fool the tax collectors:

Moseley, 77, said she gave Freebery $2.3 million in the form of a loan in 2001, rather than as an outright gift, for tax reasons. She said she never intended to recall the loan or have anyone else collect on the loan after her death. (link).

Apparently, no one asked Ms. Moseley if she was in effect admitting to conspiring with Freeberry to defraud the government on the taxes that would be owed on such a generous gift. But such a consideration is probably just details to Ms. Mosley.

Other insignificant details include the “interest payments” Freebery was expected to make to Mosley for her “gift”:
[S]he hires other people to tend to her finances (link).

Another detail arose during Ms. Mosely’s testimony, one which left her speechless if not breathless:

She could not explain a sworn deposition she signed, which stated that she directed her attorney to write a letter to Freebery demanding interest payments. (link)

A “gift” that must be repaid and comes with interest payments. Apparently, one of the privileges that come with being a wealthy elite is the right to reverse the plain meaning of words.