XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
XXXX
Website Navigation
The Issues
and
Proposed Solutions
( Website Homepage )
Understand the ELS Federal Tax Fraud Scheme
Legal Opinions and
Documents related to the
ELS Tax Fraud Scheme
Chronological List of
Website Documents
Washington State
Precedential
Railroad Right-of-Way
Opinions Thru Brown


The Federal Tax Fraud Scheme used to Railbank the East Lake Sammamish BNSF Right-of-Way.

Comments and Analysis by John Rasmussen

Please read a disclaimer for the statements I make on this website accusing judges, politicians and activists of criminal actions.



Introduction:

     In the mid 1990's, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), King County, and The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County (TLC) used a federal tax fraud scheme in order to establish a bike trail on the east side of Lake Sammamish, Washington. The tax fraud scheme involved BNSF donating the land under its East Lake Sammamish right-of-way to King County, with the parties aware that the right-of-way was essentially all easements, and that BNSF did not own the land it was donating. Arthur Andersen, of Enron and WorldCom fame, provided an inflated valuation of $40 million for the phony tax donation. The tax scheme defrauded the American taxpayer out of about $15 million dollars. The leadership of King County participated in the crime and used its resources to misinform, threaten, and steal the underlying land from its victims, who were mostly its own constituents along Lake Sammamish. When the issues of theft and ownership went before the courts, the powerful folks who participated in the tax fraud scheme were able to influence federal and state judges to cover-up their crime. The local newspapers participated in the tax fraud scheme by refusing to report the truth to their readers. The most disgusting aspect of this crime was the willingness of judges to suspend the Constitution, misrepresent the law, and manufacture material facts in order to cover-up the tax fraud scheme.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View the Evidence of the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme.


The East Lake Sammamish Federal Tax Fraud Scheme:

King County coveted the ELS right-of-way land:

     In 1997, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) owned a little used spur line that ran about twelve miles along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington. For years, King County had coveted this railroad right-of-way for conversion to a lakeside park and trail. The railroad track was used just a couple of times a week, and was in great need of repair. BNSF could not justify repairing the track because it was not making money with its operations on that spur line. Since BNSF owned only about two percent of the land under the right-of-way, abandoning the right-of-way would be very expensive for BNSF. The railroad would have to clean up the toxic debris from over one hundred years of leaving its replaced railroad ties on the right-of-way, leaching their toxins into Lake Sammamish. Further, BNSF would lose control of the right-of-way if it abandoned. Since about 98% of the right-of-way land was held only as easements and would revert to the reversionary owners on abandonment, BNSF held little asset value and was looking for a way to make money with what little control it had.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lawyers got involved:

     There, to save the day, came a couple of lawyers from The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the non-profit national organization devoted to the establishment of bicycle trails under the federal railbanking act (Rails-to-Trails Act). In this case the lawyers were also associated with a local non-profit called The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County (TLC). These lawyers worked as middlemen to give BNSF a gigantic illegal federal tax write-off in exchange for railbanking the Sammamish right-of-way and passing control to King County. For BNSF this was a big payday. If the railroad had abandoned the right-of-way, the only things it could sell were the rails, ties and a small portion of the right-of-way land worth about $1.5 million. It would need to balance those assets against the cost of removing the rails and ties and cleaning up the toxic mess. Instead, it schemed with the TLC (Rails-to-Trails) lawyers, the leadership of King County, and the accounting firm of Arthur Andersen, LLP, to rip-off the American taxpayers for about $40 million in an illegal tax write-off, which would net BNSF about $15 million in fraudulent tax savings, and at the same time avoid the toxic cleanup. Welcome to the dirty little secret about the Rails-to-Trails Act: It's a cesspool of corruption.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Understand that there is criminal activity at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

    Understand how the Rails-to-Trails Act really works.

There were two elements to the ELS tax fraud scheme:

     The East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme involved BNSF illegally donating the land under the ELS right-of-way to King County. Since BNSF owned very little of the land under the ELS right-of-way, there were two elements to the ELS tax fraud scheme. The first element was to claim that all the land under the ELS right-of-way was owned by BNSF. The Railroad couldn't donate the land unless it owned the land. The second element was to grossly inflate the value of the donated land. BNSF couldn't truly rip-off the American taxpayers without inflating the value of its phony tax donation. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and his co-conspirators had the influence within the judicial system to get judges to illegally alter Washington State property law after the County claimed ownership of the right-of-way land which BNSF "donated". Arthur Andersen, LLP agreed to provide a grossly inflated value for the land under the ELS right-of-way in order to increase the value of the phony tax write-off. So, the two elements of the ELS federal tax fraud scheme are the false claim of ownership of the ELS right-of-way land and the inflated value of the donation of that land. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Element one: King County falsely claimed ownership of the right-of-way land "donated" by BNSF.

    Element two: Arthur Andersen provided a fraudulent appraisal for BNSF.

The ELS tax fraud scheme involved BNSF, Arthur Andersen, TLC, and King County.

     It was simple to rip-off the American public once the lawyers from The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the leadership of King County agreed to participate in the Rails-to-Trails tax fraud scheme. BNSF hired Arthur Andersen and instructed the accounting firm to value the right-of-way as if BNSF owned all the underlying land, instead of only the two percent it actually owned. Arthur Andersen cooperated, and valued all of the right-of-way land at several times its actual value. It would appear that shady accounting was the rule at Arthur Andersen long before the Enron and WorldCom scandals. Then, with the cooperation of the TLC lawyers and the leadership of King County, BNSF transferred the right-of-way to King County using TLC as a middleman. With all the parties participating in the crime, the transfer was labeled a "bargain sale". TLC paid $1.5 million to BNSF and acknowledged BNSF's phony tax donation of the underlying land. This was land that the parties knew BNSF didn't own. Within hours, TLC sold the same to King County for $3 million with King County acknowledging the same phony donation. This transaction was handled by the civil division of the King County Prosecutor's office. Norm Maleng was the King County Prosecutor at the time and would have gone to federal prison if there were any justice in King County, Washington.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View BNSF's instruction to Arthur Andersen, requiring the appraiser to value the ELS right-of-way as if BNSF owned all the underlying land. Go to page 8 to view this instruction.

    TLC agreed to the "bargain sale" on page 6 (pdf page 9) of the sale agreement.

    King County agreed to the "bargain sale" on page 4 (pdf page 5) of the sale agreement.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng knew that the BNSF donation of the ELS right-of-way land was fraudulent

     In 1998, King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng had previously been involved in two lawsuits which involved the question of whether 1887 Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway (SLS&E) deeds granted easements or fee simple title of the land underlying the SLS&E right-of-way. Norm Maleng lost both of these legal decisions which involved "about" thirteen SLS&E right-of-way deeds. These two decisions are: Lawson v. State (1986) and King County v. Squire (1990). All of the SLS&E deeds in Lawson and Squire were determined to be easements. In Lawson, the King County Prosecutor agreed that all the deeds conveyed right-of-way easements. In Squire, the court decided the deed conveyed an easement. Yet, Maleng claimed that all of the SLS&E deeds under the East Lake Sammamish right-of-way granted fee simple title of the land. Since he had advised the County to accept all of this land as a tax write-off gift from BNSF, Norm Maleng need this lie to protect himself from federal tax fraud prosecution. But Maleng had a big problem. His problem was that deeds which were presented in Lawson v. State (1986) and King County v. Squire (1990) are materially identical to a number of East Lake Sammamish SLS&E right-of-way deeds, including the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed (which is a focus of this website). In these SLS&E deeds, the granting language is the critical factor in determining they convey an easement. How could Maleng claim that ELS deeds, which have identical granting language to deeds which had previously been determined to be easements, now be determined to grant fee simple title? The following deeds show the fact that East Lake Sammamish SLS&E deeds have identical granting language to deeds which had previously been determined to be easements in Lawson and Squire. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and his staff were very aware of this fact when, on Maleng's advice, King County accepted the phony tax donation from BNSF.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    "...I do hereby donate, grant and convey unto said Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the Bargquist right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was agreed by the King County Prosecutor to be an EASEMENT in Lawson v. State (1986).

    "...we do hereby donate, grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the Squire right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was construed by the court to be an EASEMENT in King County v. Squire (1990).

    "...we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the East Lake Sammamish Tahalthkut right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was construed to be an EASEMENT in Berres v. US (2012).

    "...we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the East Lake Sammamish Davis right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was construed to be an EASEMENT in Berres v. US (2012).

    "...we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the East Lake Sammamish Sbedzuse right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was construed to be an EASEMENT in Berres v. US (2012).

    "...we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the East Lake Sammamish Yonderpump right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        This SLS&E deed was construed to be an EASEMENT in Berres v. US (2012).

    "...we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company
    a right of way..."
    View the East Lake Sammamish Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.
        Determined an EASEMENT in Berres v. US (2012), Determined FEE SIMPLE in King County v. Rasmussen (2001), King County v. Rasmussen (2002), and Ray v. King County (2004).

     This website deals with the construing, and misconstruing, of the May 9, 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E. As I write this paragraph in 2013, the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed has been construed in the courts more than ten times (if one includes denied appeals). Despite the requirement that juries resolve questions of material fact, no jury was allowed to resolve those issues of fact in Rasmussen or Ray . This violates the rules of summary judgment. Use the following link for a discussion on the legal precedent (rules) used to determine whether a railroad deed conveys an easement or fee simple interest.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Understand the Basic Rules to Construe a Deed.

Here are the published Hilchkanum opinions which I've been able to obtain (in chronological order).

    Fee Simple Opinions:

    In King County v. Rasmussen (2001), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be a fee simple grant by Ninth Circuit Federal District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein.

    In King County v. Rasmussen (2002), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be a fee simple grant by Senior Ninth Circuit Judge Betty Binns Fletcher and panel.

    In Ray v. King County (2004), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be a fee simple grant by Washington State Appeals Court, Division One, Judges Ronald E. Cox and Ann Schindler. Judge William W. Baker dissented.

    Collateral Estoppel Opinion:

    In Beres v. United States (2010), Gerald and Kathryn Ray were not allowed to relitigate the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed by United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn. Judge Horn denied the Ray's claim, citing the doctrine of collateral estoppel. But, about fourteen other parties were allowed to pursue a takings claim based the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed.

    Easement Opinions:

    In Beres v. United States (2011), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be an easement by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn. While King County v. Rasmussen and Ray v. King County are mentioned throughout the opinion, Judge Horn tears apart Rasmussen and Ray starting at the bottom of page 57.

    In Beres v. United States (2012), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be an easement by United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn. Judge Horn analyzes Rasmussen and Ray starting at page 25. The opinion concludes that the establishment of the ELS Trail constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment, and that the parties may proceed with their claims. In addition to the other ELS parties, this allowed about fourteen parties to resolve a taking claim based on the 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E being an easement.

     So, which of these opinions is correct? Rothstein, Fletcher, Cox, and Schindler "decided" that the 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed granted fee simple title of the land under the right-of-way. The judges of the Washington State Supreme Court refused to consider appeal, allowing the criminal opinion of Judges Cox and Schindler to stand. Yet, in spite of this legal precedent, Federal Judge Horn decided that the same 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed granted an easement. No jury has been allowed to resolve disputed facts in any of the Hilchkanum opinions. I don't have the briefs to know if issues of material fact were disputed in the Federal Court of Claims, but I know that Judges Rothstein, Fletcher, Cox, Schindler and the judges of the Washington State Supreme Court were all made aware of questions of material fact, and allowed summary judgment in violation of the law and the Constitution. This issue is discussed in greater detail below.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)


Norm Maleng did what most crooked lawyers do to cover-up their crimes. He lied.

     As explained above, King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng knew that he was accepting fraudulently donated land when the accepted the BNSF donation in 1998. Norm Maleng had lost Lawson v. State (1986) and King County v. Squire (1990). He admitted that all of the deeds in Lawson were easements, and he lost Squire when the court determined that the Squire right-of-way deed to the SLS&E was an easement. In the record, there is only one other SLS&E deed that has been considered in King County courts. That is the Burke right-of-way deed to the SLS&E which was construed to be an easement in Pacific Iron Works v. Bryant Lumber (1910). With every SLS&E deed previously being determined to be an easement, there was no legal precedent for Maleng to use to justify his acceptance of the phony tax donation of the land under the ELS right-of-way from BNSF. So, Maleng did what most crooked lawyers do to cover-up their crimes. The King County Prosecutor lied. Norm Maleng manufactured new legal precedent. Two tactics used to hide King County's participation in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme are discussed next. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View a study of the tactics the County Prosecutor used to hide his participation in the ELS federal tax fraud scheme.

    Tactic: "Norm Maleng's 'legal theory'", the phony legal argument used to hide Maleng's criminal actions.

         Maleng needed an opinion he could misrepresent in order to justify his illegal acceptance of the BNSF donation. Brown v. State of Washington (1996) was the only Washington State Supreme Court opinion which construed the easement-or-fee issue in railroad right-of-way deeds, and was later than Lawson v. State (1986) and King County v. Squire (1990). So, Maleng claimed that Brown v. State of Washington signaled a radical change in the way railroad right-of-way deeds are construed in the State of Washington. In common law, the newer 1996 Brown opinion would take precedent over the 1986 Supreme Court Lawson opinion, and the Squire opinion (which was both older and from the lower Division One Court of Appeals). But, there was a problem for Maleng to argue that Brown applied to the East Lake Sammamish SLS&E right-of-way deeds. In Brown v. State of Washington, the Washington State Supreme Court construed 1906-1910 deeds to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company (Milwaukee Railroad), which were in Statutory Warranty Form. The Statutory Warranty Form presumes a fee simple transfer. The SLS&E right-of-way deeds patterned on the Hilchkanum, and other SLS&E deeds shown above, were not in Statutory Warranty Form and directly granted a "right of way" in the granting clause. This language had always been construed to grant an easement in Washington State. I describe these two different precedents as the "Railroad Land Granting Rule" and the "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule", and explain the differences in the links below. Of course these aren't seen as "Rules" by the courts. God forbid that the people of Washington State have rules (laws) to live by, when judges want to have as much latitude as possible. Please read these "rules".
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      "Railroad Land Granting Rule"

      "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule"

         So, Norm Maleng cited elements of the "Railroad Land Granting Rule", which had been applied to the Milwaukee Railroad deeds by the Washington State Supreme Court in Brown v. State of Washington (1996), and tried to morph and adapt them into the elements of the "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rule". The "Railroad Right-of-Way Granting Rules" were not emphasized in Brown because none of the Brown deeds granted a "right of way" in the granting clause or habendum, or had other restrictive language implying the purpose of those Milwaukee deeds was for a "right of way". Essentially, Norm Maleng was trying to fit a "round peg into a square hole" by suggesting Brown had established a "sea change" in Washington State property law. I've named Maleng's dishonest legal argument "Norm Maleng's 'legal theory'" and discuss it in detail in the link below. Of course, the critical hurdle for Maleng was to get Federal and Washington State judges to "buy" his dishonest argument. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      Understand "Norm Maleng's 'Legal Theory'" the legal excuse by the Prosecutor for accepting the phony tax donation.

      View a study of how Norm Maleng Covered-up King County's Participation in the ELS federal tax fraud scheme.

      View a discussion on the King County Prosecutor's bogus "sea change" theory.

    Tactic: King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng altered public documents in order to hide his crime.

         After participating in the tax fraud scheme, Norm Maleng had some loose ends that needed to be tied up. King County accepted the donation of the ELS right-of-way land knowing that it was fraudulent. King County had a document which showed the County knew BNSF owned only two percent of the right-of-way land. This document conflicted with King County's written acceptance of BNSF's "generous" donation of all the land under the right-of-way. The document was under Norm Maleng's control and required to be available for release under the Freedom of Information Act. This wasn't a problem for King County Prosecutor, Norm Maleng. The County's copy of that document got mysteriously altered to hide the fact that the King County was accepting a donation of land from BNSF that it knew BNSF didn't own. Somehow a paragraph disappeared from the County's copy of the document, the words apparently falling off the page. You would think that it would be a federal crime to alter documents available under the Freedom of Information Act, but not in King County, Washington. Further, other documents which tied the TLC lawyers to the fraud were altered, and pages went mysteriously missing. These documents were presented to Federal Judge Rothstein in the King County v. Rasmussen lawsuit. Rothstein struck these exhibits on a motion by Norm Maleng. She then failed to turn this incriminating evidence over to federal prosecutors. It is really great for a criminal who can get the judge to strike the evidence of his crime. Please read the following documents in order to understand.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      View Struck Exhibit 2 to Federal Judge Rothstein. This exhibit has the altered document which hides the County's opinion that BNSF owned only 2% of the ELS right-of-way land. It also contains the unaltered document for comparison.

      View Struck Exhibit 5 to Federal Judge Rothstein. This exhibit shows that BNSF tried to get TLC to certify a $40 million phony tax donation, and that "someone" distorted that portion of the document when it was made public.

"Theft-by-Community":

     While King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, BNSF and TLC were most responsible for the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme, there were many more participants, both active and passive, who were necessary for the "success" of the crime. The ELS tax fraud scheme involved politicians, a federal prosecutor, activists, news organizations, and most important, judges. I call this combination "Theft-by-Community". (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Understand how "Theft-by-Community" works.

American taxpayers got ripped off for about $15 million:

     Who got hurt by this fraud? The American taxpayers got ripped off for about $15 million in phony tax savings when BNSF wrote-off the donation of $40 million in land it didn't own. It's hard for the taxpayers to know, or care, about this. It works out that the government took in $15 million less in taxes that year, and made up for it by simply increasing the national debt the same amount. The national debt is so massive, and nobody knows who will actually pay it off, that the $15 million added by this fraud seems insignificant. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

King County used its resources to harm its residents along Lake Sammamish.

     The folks who really got screwed are the folks who actually owned the land under the right-of-way. I'm one of them. Under federal law we were due compensation when abandonment of the railroad easement was withheld, and a new bike trail easement was established under the Rails-to-Trails Act. But BNSF, the TLC lawyers, and the Prosecutor of King County had conspired to agree that all the right-of-way land was owned by BNSF and now had been donated to King County. BNSF couldn't generously donate the right-of-way land to the people of King County if it didn't own the land. No phony donation...no phony $40 million tax write-off. So, we have the TLC lawyers and the King County working very hard to defraud the actual owners of the right-of way land. Most of the folks who owned property along Lake Sammamish, and got screwed, weren't even aware of it. The participants in the crime ran a public campaign to misinform these residents about their rights with respect to the right-of-way that crossed their properties. The Prosecutor and County Executive informed the public repeatedly that all the land under the East Lake Sammamish right-of-way was owned by the County. This was an outrageous lie. Based on that lie, the folks along the Lake were informed that their landscaping and structures erected within the right-of-way were in violation of the law. For the most part, this was another complete and intentional lie by the Prosecutor. By claiming that the right-of-way land was owned fee simple by the County, the Prosecutor threatened exorbitant crossing fees for the folks to access their homes or the Lake. Additionally, TLC and Land Conservancy lawyers repeatedly lied to the public about the effect of the law on the rights of the folks along the Lake. Early on, BNSF billed me to pay the railroad for use of my right-of-way land, implying that BNSF owned it. This is something they had done in the past to other residents along the Lake. BNSF had no legal right to charge folks to use their own land. The right-of-way was 98% easements and, under State common law, the owner of land under an easement has the right to use the easement land as long as it doesn't interfere with the grantee's easement use. Charging folks to cross railroad tracks on their own land is not allowed under State common law. Many folks paid for a crossing permit because they believed the lies told to them, and didn't explore their rights under the law. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Read a June 2000 newspaper article in which King County claims title to all the land underlying the ELS right-of-way.

    Read a September 1999 Eastside Journal article in which King County threatens to charge exorbitant trail crossing fees.

     The Prosecutor of King County, Washington, worked very hard to defraud his constituents along Lake Sammamish. But he had a very good reason to work against those he had pledged to serve; it kept him and his co-conspirators out of federal prison. I was saddened to learn that Norm Maleng died unexpectedly in May 2007. My right to confront him under oath had been denied in the federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. I was sorry Maleng died because I wanted him to have the opportunity to explain and defend his actions. In order to discourage corruption in government, it is important for crooked politicians like Maleng to suffer public shame and humiliation for their criminal activity.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

I've fought for more than ten years to expose the corruption in King County.

     I'm John Rasmussen. I have fought for more than ten years to expose this federal tax fraud scheme and for the reestablishment of my rights as a citizen. I first "blew the whistle" on this crime in February 2000. That "whistle blower" email to the King County leadership is linked below. Since that time, I've notified politicians, judges, a federal prosecutor, the IRS, newspapers, and others such as the Chairman of U.S. Senate Transportation Committee, John McCain. Nobody has responded to my description of the crime. Nobody has asked to see the evidence. I provide links below, which identify the participants in the crime and reveal the evidence. I describe the ELS tax fraud scheme as "Theft-by-Community" (linked below) because of the large number of powerful people in the King County community who actively or passively participated in the crime. But, the most troubling aspect of the tax fraud scheme is its cover-up by federal and State judges.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View my "whistle blower" letter to Ron Sims and the King County Council on February 7, 2000.

    View my "whistle blower" email letter to Senator John McCain July 4, 2000.

    View my "whistle blower" report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS Form 211) on April 12, 2002.

    A "whistle blower" presentation was made to U.S. Prosecutor Jeff Sullivan on April 18, 2002.

    View my "whistle blower" Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, and its denial by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Schroeder.

    View my August 2009 public letter The Seattle Times, accusing the newspaper of covering-up the tax fraud scheme.

    View the evidence of the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme.

    "Theft-by-Community", how the community in King County stole the ELS land from its residents.

    "Lie, Stonewall and Slander", how King County deals with citizens who challenge its illegal actions.

There is massive corruption in the Federal Ninth Circuit courts.

     The issue of the ownership of the land under the BNSF right-of-way on my property was contingent on the construing of the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E in 1887. King County claimed the Hilchkanum deed granted fee simple title to the SLS&E and that King County was now the owner of that land through the BNSF donation. As I wrote above, about fourteen SLS&E deeds had previously been before the courts and all were determined to be easements. There is no record of a SLS&E deed being construed to grant fee simple title in the courts. But, after conspiring with BNSF and TLC, King County claimed that essentially all the right-of-way deeds along East Lake Sammamish granted fee simple title. The County made this claim despite the fact that the ELS deeds have common granting language to the deeds previously determined to convey easements. In a legitimate court of law, legal precedent and adherence to the Constitution and the law would recognize that essentially all of the ELS right-of-way deeds were easements. This decision in a legitimate court of law would have exposed the ELS tax fraud scheme. It didn't happen. Instead, judges covered-up the tax fraud scheme and agreed with the King County prosecutor that there had been a "sea change" in the common law used to construe the property rights associated with railroad deeds. There was no "sea change". The only "sea change" was in the honesty of our federal and State judges.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

     Federal District Judge Barbara Rothstein violated the Constitution and the law with her maneuvers to illegally grant King County ownership of my right-of-way land and to cover-up the ELS tax fraud scheme. Her opinion is simply a criminal act from the bench. With my declaration, I presented a description and evidence of the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme. Rothstein struck my statements and the evidence of the crime. She then failed to turn the evidence over to federal prosecutors, as would be required by her oath to uphold the law. Rothstein also struck many of our other exhibits and much of our briefing. She then replaced our legitimate argument with ridiculous facts and blatantly dishonest legal reasoning. Rothstein took complete control of my lawsuit by illegally allowing summary judgment. Judge Rothstein obviously conspired with one, or more, of the participants in the ELS federal tax fraud scheme. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

     In order to understand Federal District Judge Rothstein's dishonesty, here are just two examples:

    Example One:

         In common law, the words of a deed are construed most strongly against its author. Rothstein construed the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed against only Hilchkanum, as if he wrote his deed. There were two problems with her conclusion. First, Hilchkanum was an illiterate Native American who couldn't even sign his own name. He signed his right-of-way deed with an "X" and obviously didn't write the deed. Yet, Rothstein construed the deed as if he had written it. Second, Rothstein intentionally ignored the legal precedent set when another SLS&E deed was construed in King County v. Squire (1990). The granting clause in the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E was identical to the granting clause of the Squire right-of-way deed to the SLS&E, which had already been construed to be an easement. Rothstein found the identical granting words in the Hilchkanum deed to convey fee simple title. Further, the Squire court identified those granting words to have been provided by the SLS&E Railway while Rothstein treated the same words to have been written by Hilchkanum, as I explained above. Rothstein came to her conclusion of authorship in violation of the rules of summary judgment and without any evidence to justify her bizarre conclusion. Further, she ignored exhibits we presented which proved she was wrong. She refused my Constitutional right for a jury to resolve that disputed fact, and refused our many requests for oral arguments. In a legitimate court of law, the precedent set by the Squire court would have been considered rather than ignored. Federal District Judge Rothstein is not a legitimate judge in a legitimate court of law. Hilchkanum did not write his right-of way deed and, as an illiterate American Indian in Washington Territory in 1887, was at a great disadvantage as a party to his right-of-way deed with the SLS&E. Rothstein's illegal use of summary judgment denied my right to establish these facts.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      View a comparison of the Hilchkanum and Squire right-of-way deeds to the SLS&E in order to understand that the granting clauses are identical.

      Understand Hilchkanum's participation and intentions with his right-of-way deed to the SLS&E.

    Example Two:

         Judge Rothstein changed the words of the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed when she construed its meaning. In construing a railroad right-of-way deed to determine whether it grants an easement or fee simple title of the underlying land, the court is required to determine whether the grant is for the purpose of a right-of-way or for only the conveyance of land. The Hilchkanum deed granted a right-of-way to the SLS&E, yet Judge Rothstein determined that there was no intention to grant a right-of-way to a railroad in the words of the deed. This is beyond bizarre. Here is the granting clause of the Hilchkanum deed which shows it explicitly grants a "right of way". The link provides the full transcribed deed with photocopy:
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      "In consideration of the benefits and advantages to accrue to us from the location construction and operation of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway in the County of King in Washington Territory we do hereby donate grant and convey unto said Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company a right of way one hundred (100) feet in width through our lands in said County described as follows to wit."
           [Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E]

         Judge Rothstein could find no purpose to convey a right-of-way in those words. In fact, Rothstein decided that those words convey only a "strip of land" without any intention that it be used as a railroad right-of-way. I'm not kidding. This dishonest judge actually came to this conclusion. She did this without any legal precedent in support. As I wrote above, this is beyond bizarre because "right-of-way" and "strip of land" are contradictory terms when construing a railroad right-of-way deed. It's completely dishonest to substitute contradictory terms in a deed before construing its intent. Here is a link to my annotated version of her opinion where she makes that conclusion and I analyze her dishonesty.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      Open Rothstein's opinion [King County v. Rasmussen (2000)] at the location Rothstein dishonestly states that the Hilchkanum deed grants a strip of land.

         Rothstein's opinion has dishonesty in almost every paragraph. This was no mistake on her part. Federal District Judge Barbara Rothstein is an experienced lawyer and judge. It is essentially impossible that she made mistake after mistake throughout her King County v. Rasmussen opinion. We are at a time when judges have granted themselves the right to do whatever they want from the bench. In this case, Judge Rothstein decided to participate in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme by covering-up evidence of the crime with her opinion. Her illegal grant of my land to King County wasn't so that the people of the County could have a bike trail. The whole purpose of the Rails-to-Trails Act is to allow trails to be built on unused railroad easements. So, her opinion that the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed granted fee simple title did not enable the County to build the ELS trail. Rather, her grant of fee simple title covered-up the fact that King County accepted a phony tax donation of my land which she and the County knew BNSF didn't own.
        (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

         We appealed Rothstein's dishonest opinion. The Ninth Circuit appeals panel was headed by Senior Federal Circuit Judge Betty Fletcher. It seems likely that Fletcher and Rothstein are personal friends. Fletcher's appeals decision adopted Rothstein's dishonesty point-by-point. It was as if Rothstein had written Fletcher's appeals opinion for her. Our next appeal was to the Ninth Circuit, en banc. That appeal was denied, as was a subsequent appeal to the United States Supreme Court. I then submitted a complaint of judicial misconduct to the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit. That complaint was dishonestly dismissed. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

         There was no legitimate hearing throughout the process of my lawsuit. Federal judges denied my Constitutional right of due process in every instance. In every hearing, and at every level of appeal, we opposed the use of summary judgment and briefed disagreement with the material facts. When there is disagreement with the material facts, the issues of fact must be resolved by a jury. This is explicitly stated in the rules of summary judgment and is required by the constitutional right of due process. It appears that there is an epidemic of abuse of summary judgment in our courts. I justify that statement with my analysis of the judicial opinions linked below. The truth, the Constitution, and the law are my friends, and the mortal enemy of the federal judges who denied my rights and covered up the ELS tax fraud scheme. Please view my analysis of their opinions. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

      View Rothstein's opinion, King County v. Rasmussen (2001), with my brief comments.

      View Fletcher's opinion, King County v. Rasmussen (2002), with my brief comments.

      View my 2004 Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, and denial by Chief Judge Schroeder.

There is massive corruption in Washington State courts.

     Ray v. King County, a "sister case" construing the same Hilchkanum right-of-way deed, went through the Washington State Courts system. A very dishonest Washington State Appeals Panel adopted Rothstein's decision as precedent and upheld the preliminary King County Superior Court decision against the Rays. Again, it is as if Federal District Judge Rothstein wrote that opinion for the Washington State court. The Appeals Court opinion, Ray v. King County (2004), is linked below. The Washington State Supreme Court refused the Ray's appeal. The most dishonest action of a supreme court is the cowardly denial of a legitimate appeal. I explained this to the Washington State Supreme Court in a public letter on March 31, 2009, linked below. I describe these decisions by federal and State judges as crimes from the bench, and discuss their dishonest actions and criminal opinions in detail on this website. Further, I suggest that the common dishonest tactics, which were used in federal and state courts to cover-up the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme, constitutes racketeering. Of course, in our present political and judicial environment there is no possibility that these judges would be prosecuted for racketeering. See my study of the common dishonest tactics, below. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Understand that Ray v. King County (2004) was a crime from the bench.

    View my March 31, 2009 public letter to the Judges of the Washington State Supreme Court, accusing them of committing a crime from the bench in their denial of Ray v. King County (2004).

    Understand the common dishonest tactics used by the Hilchkanum judges.

Starting in 2005, the U.S. Federal Court of Claims found ELS SLS&E deeds to be Easements.

     Perhaps the powerful folks in King County, who participated in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme, didn't have unlimited influence to get their crime covered-up. Starting in 2005, a group of folks from East Lake Sammamish began to get justice in the United States Federal Court of Claims. By "justice", I'm meaning an acknowledgment of Washington State legal precedent, the facts, and the Constitutions of the United States and Washington State. Those cherished rights were not adopted in the federal and State courts of Washington.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

     In Beres v. United States (2010), Gerald and Kathryn Ray were not allowed to relitigate the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed by United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn. Judge Horn denied the Ray's claim, citing the doctrine of collateral estoppel. But, about fourteen other parties were allowed to pursue a takings claim based the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed.

     In Beres v. United States (2011), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be an easement by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn.

     In Beres v. United States (2012), the Hilchkanum right-of-way deed was determined to be an easement by United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn. The opinion concludes that the establishment of the ELS Trail constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment, and that the parties may proceed with their claims. In addition to the other ELS parties, this allowed about fourteen parties to resolve a taking claim based on the 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed to the SLS&E being an easement.

     The judges of the Washington State Supreme Court refused to consider appeal, allowing the criminal opinion Ray v. King County (2004) to stand. Yet, in spite of this legal precedent, Federal Judge Horn decided that the same 1887 Hilchkanum right-of-way deed granted an easement. No jury has been allowed to resolve disputed facts in any of the Hilchkanum opinions. I don't have the briefs to know if issues of material fact were disputed in the Federal Court of Claims, but I know that Judges Rothstein, Fletcher, Cox, Schindler and the judges of the Washington State Supreme Court were all made aware of questions of material fact, and allowed summary judgment in violation of the law and the Constitution. View Judge Horn's opinions below.
    (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View Beres v. United States (2010).

    View Beres v. United States (2011).

    View Beres v. United States (2012).

Where do the East Lake Sammamish Owners of the Land under the ELS right-of-way Stand?

     If you are an East Lake Sammamish resident with a portion of the ELS right-of-way on your property, it appears that you fit into one of three categories

    First, if you do not have a chain of title which shows you own the land under the right-of-way, you have no legal claim. You have every right to be offended by what King County and judges have done in committing federal tax fraud, but no more than any other citizen. I believe that this is a very small number of ELS residents.

    Second, if you have been compensated, or will be compensated, as a result of a Rails-to-Trails takings claim, Congratulations! You have "fought" for a number of years and are being compensated. If you tried to compromise with a very dishonest King County for a number of years, how did that work? The arrogant disregard for your rights by King County should be apparent to you. But the question now is: Does King County now admit that the land under the ELS right-of-way is owned by you? I assume not. Even though U.S. Federal Court of Claims Judge Marian Horn has decided the Hilchkanum deed, and several other ELS SLS&E right-of-way deeds, granted easements, I assume the criminals in King County government are not going to recognize your ownership. Instead, the slimy lawyers in the King County Prosecutor's Office will rely on Ray v. King County (2004) and the denial of appeal by your Washington State Supreme Court as proof of the County's ownership. You will be jerked around in ways you can't even imagine right now. It will cost you money, time, and frustration. You didn't win, you lost...at least you will lose for years, and years, and years to come. This is a very small number of ELS residents. Read Beres v. United States (2011) and Beres v. United States (2012) to understand who these people are.(My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    Third, if you do have a chain of title which shows you own the land under the right-of-way, but never made a claim for the harm done by King County's false claim of ownership, you are really screwed! The Rails-to-Trails Act was written by Congress, but has been interpreted into something very different by federal judges. Your land was bargained away by BNSF and King County, and you were given no notice or allowed any part in the tax fraud scheme they concocted. Doesn't it seem a little wrong that the owners of a property have no input into a significant transaction that affects their lives and their property ownership? Welcome to the Rails-to-Trails Act! You are now too late to make a claim because STB bureaucrats and federal judges have set a time limit that defrauds folks like you, who learn too late. Now, King County will jerk you around forever, with the knowledge that lawyers in the Prosecutor's office and other participants in East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme have convinced judges to protected them from prosecution by falsely giving ownership of your land to the County. You're screwed! I believe that this is a very large number of ELS residents. So,you're in good company, and "Misery loves company". Get used to it, or move away. I don't recommend you getting "pissed off". The lawyers in the King County Prosecutor's Office just love to see that. They have a plan if you protest. It's called "Lie, Stonewall, and Slander". That's what they did to me. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

The East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme has been hidden from the public.

     As of this writing, the truth of the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme has never been made public in the courts, government, or the press. I believe that The Seattle Times and the King County Journal became active participants in the tax fraud scheme with their refusal to report the crime to their readers. I believe Freedom of the Press was established in the Bill of Rights to protect newspaper staff who report corruption in government and the courts. Legitimate newspapers have a moral and ethical responsibility to report these crimes. (My statements describing wrongdoing or criminal actions on this webpage are a First Amendment expression of my opinion.)

    View my August 30, 2009 public letter to The Seattle Times, accusing the newspaper of intentionally refusing to report the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme to its readers.

    View my January 11, 2007 email to the King County Journal (Eastside Journal) shortly before the newspaper folded.



Reference:

    View a Timeline of the events I describe on this webpage.

    View the Evidence of the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme.

    View an analysis of Who Participated in the East Lake Sammamish federal tax fraud scheme.

    View my Whistle Blower Letter to Ron Sims and Council in February 2000, outlining the ELS federal tax fraud scheme.

    "Lie, Stonewall and Slander", how King County deals with citizens who challenge its actions.

    "Theft-by-Community", how the community in King County stole the ELS land from its residents.

    Norm Maleng's "Legal Theory" the legal excuse by the Prosecutor for accepting the phony donation of ELS land.

    View a study of how Norm Maleng Covered-up King County's Participation in the ELS federal tax fraud scheme

    Understand how the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy works against the rights of Americans.

    View King County v. Rasmussen, Preliminary Injunction Hearing, September 14, 2000 annotated with my comments.

    View King County v. Rasmussen (2001) annotated with brief comments.

    View King County v. Rasmussen (2001) annotated with detailed comments.

    View King County v. Rasmussen (2002) annotated with brief comments.

    View King County v. Rasmussen (2002) annotated with detailed comments.

    View Ray v. King County (2004) annotated with brief comments.

    View Ray v. King County (2004) annotated with detailed comments.

    View Beres v. United States (2005).

    View Beres v. United States (2010).

    View Beres v. United States (2011).

    View Beres v. United States (2012).

    View my 2004 Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, and denial by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Schroeder.

    Understand how Judges Protect their Fellow Judges at the expense of the Constitution and the laws.

    View my March 31, 2009 Public Letter to the Judges of the Washington State Supreme Court.

    View my August 30, 2009 Public Letter to the owners, editors, and staff of The Seattle Times.