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Additional Correspondence Related to the East Lake Sammamish Federal Tax Fraud Scheme



There are four webpages on this site that provide the significant ELST correspondence between John Rasmussen and government, individuals, and the press:

    1. Correspondence Presented to King County Superior Court.
    2. Additional ELST Correspondence to Friends and Officials. (This Page)
    3. Correspondence with The Seattle Times.
    4. Correspondence with the King County Journal (Eastside Journal).



Personal Emails:



From: "Nancy Rasmussen" issyras@ibm.net
To: "John Rasmussen" johnras@ibm.net
Subject: Hi Dear,
Date: Sunday, April 11, 1999 6:18 PM

(5-18-2006 Note from John Rasmussen: This email was edited to remove non-relevant information.)

Well, I'm glad you were away today. Jennifer Knaur came with her group of citizens and I went down to say she was not welcome. She said they were just taking a look see and would be in and out. They stopped at Boitanos and came back through. She was pointing out the errosion control etc. I told her she was not welcome and that I did not want an interim trail. After I called around, I found out there was a plain clothesed policeman and a County prosecutor in the group. She was ready for you. The policeman told the Bereses there was an "incident after the meeting the other night". I'm guessing that may have been you? they also asked Mr. Beres what he was doing to prove he had claim to the land. I put some literature on the windshields of their vans that were parked above Owen's house. I talked to Carol across the street. She was sympathetic. She asked what I put on their windshields. I called Eden Waggoner and she wanted to go out and look for them. I called Ed. He wasn't willing to go out. He said Lisa was away. I called Vicky Beres and she at first didn't like me putting the literature on their windshield, but then she agreed it was okay. I felt that those people had her point of view all afternoon, they should have ours.

I talked to Barb. Peterson's dad who used to do projects for the county. He said we had to take paper copies of our input to the meetings, and request it get in the minutes. Don't think these CAG mtgs. have minutes. I heard the next meeting would be in a different format for public input - so we will have to bring a copy for each member as with lines, we won't each get to speak with each member. I'm sure they will have police, so I'll be glad to take a letter for you, if that works best.

Love, Nancy R.



From: "John Rasmussen" johnras@ibm.net
To: Nancy Rasmussen
Subject: Re: Hi Dear,
Date: Monday, April 12, 1999 6:29 PM

(5-18-2006 Note from John Rasmussen: This email was edited to remove non-relevant information.)

Hi Nancy,

Needless to say, I'm very upset about the County sending out the prosecutor. I'll count to ten on this one. The County would like to wear us down. This is just an outrageous situation, but, remember that almost everyone in Skagit County dropped out of the suit they had there. That County just wore then out...either emotionally or financially. I will write e-mails from here, and not press this further without some thought and legal advice. At this point, I'm not just willing to walk away from this injustice.

Please forward anything you have. Thanks for the ones I already have received.

I will probably write Sims tomorrow afternoon. I'll give him a day to respond, then write an open letter to the Times, Journal, and Press. Also, I think I might write Jay.

-John-



From: "John Rasmussen" johnras@ibm.net
To: "Dick Welsh" dick@halcyon.com
Subject: Thanks
Date: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 2:26 PM

Hi Dick,

(5-18-2006 Note from John Rasmussen: This email was edited to remove non-relevant information.)

Thanks for sending the appraisal. I have never written an editorial, but I'm about ready. This will help. I'll get the appraisal back to you when you come north in June.

Dick, do you have any record that BN actually took that write-off on their taxes? If I'm going to accuse them of ripping off the taxpayer, I need to know if they took the write-off. I believe we have the record here that King County acknowledges a large donation in the sale.

Regards, John



From: "dick welsh" dick@halcyon.com
To: John Rasmussen
Subject: Re: Thanks
Date: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 8:14 AM

John--we have no way of knowing if BNSF took the deduction. We only have their statements that they did. They are a private company, and we cannot see their tax returns, but we can accuse them of taking it ( as I have and they never refuted it). Then let them refute it in public. I could sue the IRS for non-disclosure on my challenge, but that would take years. Do you remember the Long's case that took 11 years to beat the IRS and get disclosure. Meanwhile, Jim Long died before it was over. What a result!!!.

Dick



From: "Vicki Beres" vicberes@msn.com
To: John Rasmussen
Cc: "John Rassmussen" issyras@attglobal.net
Subject: Important info.- BN appraisal
Date: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 2:10 PM

Hi John R.,

Do you have a fax # that I can send you the following original email message to Redmond from Matthew Cohen? I did a FOIA records request on April 17, 2002, for City of Redmond and BN RR purchase files that are ongoing from 520 area to NE. 90th and possibly north to St. Michelle winery. I picked up a stack of interesting maps, files and records from that. It shows the current collusion to create another pre-determined, highly inflated value of the rr row (this time in Redmond going North). Here is the content of one email from Matt Cohen to Gene Duvernoy etc. and City of Redmond property managers etc.:

"March 12, 2002 - Subject: Redmond-BNSF discussions." "Debby Wilson" (City real property manager) "called today to share some encouraging developments in the City's efforts to secure an option on the BNSF rail corridor. Debby spoke today with Steve Kuzma of BNSF, who works for Dave Schneider in Fort Worth. Kuzma told Debby that in the next day or two BNSF will send us a counter offer to our proposed letter agreement, in the form of another letter agreement. It will include a commitment not to alienate any part of the right of way for some number of months, while we develop a purchase offer. BNSF also delivered to Debby today a set of val section maps. Kuzma said that he will serve as our "absolute contact" with BNSF, but that we should deal with Carol Sanders of Staubach on day to day matters. Carol will be commissioning an appraisal of the corridor for BNSF. Debby and Kuzma did not talk about the portion of the corridor that lies north of the drywall company. If BNSF's draft does not tie up that part of the line, we will endeavor to secure it. You may wonder why you are hearing this information second hand from me. One, because Debby is swamped. Two, because I like being the bearer of good news. Gene can draft the e-mail when BNSF produces a $20 million appraisal for the ROW."

"Matthew Cohen
Attorney
HellerEhrman"
(etc.)"



Emails to/from Federal Officials.
(Not included in the John Rasmussen King County Superior Court Declaration):



From: "John Rasmussen" issyras@worldnet.att.net
To: dunnwa08@mail.house.gov
Subject: HR 2438
Date: Thursday, October 30, 1997 1:30 PM

1605 E. Lake Sammamish Place S.E.
Issaquah, WA 98029
October 30, 1997

Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn
432 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC

Dear Congresswoman Dunn,

We live and vote in the 8th district, and are writing with a concern about our land being taken and turned into a trail. Our home is located on the east side of Lake Sammamish with the abandoned Burlington Northern track running between our house and the Lake. We own the land under the track, and it's use would revert to us, upon abandonment, were it not for the National Trails Act passed in 1983. Our deed granting an easement for the railroad allows for no other uses of our land. The National Trails Act changes our easement and allows our property to be turned into a public trail against our wishes and without direct compensation for the taking. While the Courts have held in recent cases that this is "a taking", the law still stands. In fact, if King County takes our land for a trail, we would be required to sue the Federal Government for compensation. Does that sound logical to you?

We support the development of trails in our community. But in this case the County will steal a good portion of our life's savings to build the trail. Those savings are invested in our property which will lose much of it's value with a trail.

HR 2438, we believe, is designed to correct some of the great injustice in the National Trails Act. It has been put before Congress by Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas. It supports the continued development of trails with due respect for property rights. Do you have a stand on this proposed legislation? Would you consider supporting this Bill?

We would like to invite you to our home see how the existing Trails Act so unfairly threatens us, and our neighbors on Lake Sammamish. We believe you will see that the proposed trail will destroy our privacy, and force us to sell and move to maintain the quality of our lives. This is a sincere invitation and may be private or public at your option.

Sincerely,

John and Nancy Rasmussen



From: "John Rasmussen" johnras@attglobal.net
To: "McCain, John" John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov
Subject: Railbanking corruption
Date: Tuesday, July 04, 2000 8:52 PM

Senator John McCain
Chairman
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
United States Senate

Dear Senator McCain,

As Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee I'm writing to inform you there is strong evidence that massive fraud has taken place in the Rails-to-Trails project on East Lake Sammamish in Washington State. Further, since the Governor of the State of Washington, and the leadership of King County are involved, there is little chance that this will be dealt with at the state level. I believe that your committee has the responsibility to investigate this crime.

Here's what happened as I see it. In 1996, Burlington Northern Santa Fe decided to abandoned a spur line that ran for twelve miles along the east shore of Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington. For years King County had expressed a desire to obtain the right-of-way for a trail and park. So, BNSF used the threat of full abandonment to force King County and their middleman, The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County (TLCSKC), to pay an excessive price for the assets, and then provide documentation to the IRS for a fraudulent tax write off. Full abandonment would have returned the easement land to the reversionary owners, most of which are the present adjacent residents, while railbanking made that land available for a County park at the expense of these owners. The fraudulent tax write off was for about $40 million, which cheated the American taxpayers out of about $15 million.

The tax scam evolved as follows. BNSF hired Arthur Andersen LLP to appraise the assets of the twelve mile spur. While BNSF had fee simple title to only a couple of properties along the lake, it instructed Arthur Andersen to value all the land under the twelve mile right-of-way as if the railroad held fee simple title. What BNSF actually owned was worth less that $1 million according to another appraisal, but, based on the BNSF false claim of ownership, Arthur Andersen appraised the assets at $41.7 million. In the papers of sale, TLCSKC agreed to pay $1.5 million and accept a donation of $40.2 million. This was called a "bargain sale", part sale and part donation. It was actually part sale, part rip-off of the American taxpayer. Further, TLCSKC agreed to provide documentation of the phony donation to the IRS. This allowed Burlington Northern Santa Fe to realize about $16.5 million from the Rails-to-Trails transaction, when its assets were actually worth only about $1 million. This fraudulent act by BNSF, TLCSKC and King County has harmed me as an American taxpayer, but also has violated my rights as a reversionary property owner along the right-of-way.

I suspect that this dishonesty is present in other railbanking transactions. Politicians are hesitant to take a critical look at any project that benefits the public, so they turn their backs on evidence that tax fraud and crimes are being committed by the railroads and groups that are supporting these trails. The truth about these transactions is buried, and the true costs are delayed and hidden. This process exploits a weaknesses of our democracy by challenging politicians to choose what they know to be right at the expense of losing votes in their next election. Sadly, most politicians choose to ignore the law in favor of their personal careers. That's what has happened here in Washington State.

In October 1999 the GAO presented a report on railbanking to Senator Brownback. The facts in that report show the Rails-to-Trails Act to be in great need of amendment. There was no mention, however, of fraudulent tax claims by the railroads. Perhaps the GAO needs to go back and finish their investigation. A good place to start would be to investigate the fraud that has happened here in Sammamish, Washington.

Perhaps you notice that I send this note on the 4th of July, Independence Day. While most Americans are celebrating, I mourn the loss of my constitutional freedoms to the special interests of the trail advocates and the railroads, and the weak character of the local politicians.

Senator McCain, please investigate the corruption and fraud that the Rails-to-Trails Act has brought to the families along East Lake Sammamish, Washington. As chairman of the committee that has oversight, you have the authority to investigate, but more importantly, the responsibility.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen
USNA 1967

1605 East Lake Sammamish Place S. E.
Sammamish, Wa 98029



From: "John Rasmussen" johnras@attglobal.net
To: "McCain, John" John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov
Subject: Railbanking Corruption
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2001 3:36 PM

Senator John McCain
Chairman
Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
United States Senate

Dear Senator McCain,

On the Fourth of July, 2000, I wrote to you advising of evidence of massive tax fraud in a Rails-to-Trails project in Washington State. It involves a fraudulent tax write-off of $40 million by Burlington Northern Santa Fe with the cooperation of King County government and a local non-profit. As chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, I believe you have responsibility to investigate this situation. You neither acknowledged nor answered that letter.

A $40 million illegal tax write-off would have defrauded the American taxpayer of about $15 million. That single write-off is considerably more in lost tax dollars than all of the "John McCain's 'Top Ten Pork List' for FY'01" items...combined. I'm referring to the "Top Ten Pork List" on your Senate website.

You are now sponsoring legislation to reduce the influence of special interests in elections. Yet, you have taken contributions from Burlington Northern and ignore evidence that company has defrauded the American taxpayer. Have you traded my rights as a citizen for those contributions, or is there another reason that you have ignored my stated concerns? Are you guilty of what you claim to despise?

Please understand that this is a letter from a taxpayer who believes he has been betrayed by his government and is addressing the person most responsible. I voted for you in the Washington State primary last year. This was after I asked a friend of mine if you were worthy of my vote. That friend was a POW with you for five years. Like you, I graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy, and was a Naval Aviator. I felt we shared a common background and a common desire for honesty in government. I'm disappointed you did not reply to my letter. Have I misjudged you? Are you truly interested in reducing the influence of special interests in government?

You claim that you have a mandate from the people to restrict the influence of these special interests. Why not clean out your own house first before you attempt to clean out the houses of your contemporaries? Please investigating the crime Burlington Northern is committing under your committee's oversight. Send the GAO to King County, Washington, to investigate this injustice. The details are outlined in my letter of July 4th, 2000, which is attached below.

Sincerely,

John Rasmussen

E-mail: johnras@attglobal.net
1043 Lingon Berry Court, Unit B3
Anchorage, AK 99515
Phone: 907-229-9493

    ATTACHMENT:

    From: "John Rasmussen" johnras@attglobal.net
    To: "McCain, John" John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov
    Subject: Railbanking corruption
    Date: Tuesday, July 04, 2000 8:52 PM

    Senator John McCain
    Chairman
    Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee
    United States Senate

    Dear Senator McCain,

    As Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee I'm writing to inform you there is strong evidence that massive fraud has taken place in the Rails-to-Trails project on East Lake Sammamish in Washington State. Further, since the Governor of the State of Washington, and the leadership of King County are involved, there is little chance that this will be dealt with at the state level. I believe that your committee has the responsibility to investigate this crime.

    Here's what happened as I see it. In 1996, Burlington Northern Santa Fe decided to abandoned a spur line that ran for twelve miles along the east shore of Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington. For years King County had expressed a desire to obtain the right-of-way for a trail and park. So, BNSF used the threat of full abandonment to force King County and their middleman, The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County (TLCSKC), to pay an excessive price for the assets, and then provide documentation to the IRS for a fraudulent tax write off. Full abandonment would have returned the easement land to the reversionary owners, most of which are the present adjacent residents, while railbanking made that land available for a County park at the expense of these owners. The fraudulent tax write off was for about $40 million, which cheated the American taxpayers out of about $15 million.

    The tax scam evolved as follows. BNSF hired Arthur Andersen LLP to appraise the assets of the twelve mile spur. While BNSF had fee simple title to only a couple of properties along the lake, it instructed Arthur Andersen to value all the land under the twelve mile right-of-way as if the railroad held fee simple title. What BNSF actually owned was worth less that $1 million according to another appraisal, but, based on the BNSF false claim of ownership, Arthur Andersen appraised the assets at $41.7 million. In the papers of sale, TLCSKC agreed to pay $1.5 million and accept a donation of $40.2 million. This was called a "bargain sale", part sale and part donation. It was actually part sale, part rip-off of the American taxpayer. Further, TLCSKC agreed to provide documentation of the phony donation to the IRS. This allowed Burlington Northern Santa Fe to realize about $16.5 million from the Rails-to-Trails transaction, when its assets were actually worth only about $1 million. This fraudulent act by BNSF, TLCSKC and King County has harmed me as an American taxpayer, but also has violated my rights as a reversionary property owner along the right-of-way.

    I suspect that this dishonesty is present in other railbanking transactions. Politicians are hesitant to take a critical look at any project that benefits the public, so they turn their backs on evidence that tax fraud and crimes are being committed by the railroads and groups that are supporting these trails. The truth about these transactions is buried, and the true costs are delayed and hidden. This process exploits a weaknesses of our democracy by challenging politicians to choose what they know to be right at the expense of losing votes in their next election. Sadly, most politicians choose to ignore the law in favor of their personal careers. That's what has happened here in Washington State.

    In October 1999 the GAO presented a report on railbanking to Senator Brownback. The facts in that report show the Rails-to-Trails Act to be in great need of amendment. There was no mention, however, of fraudulent tax claims by the railroads. Perhaps the GAO needs to go back and finish their investigation. A good place to start would be to investigate the fraud that has happened here in Sammamish, Washington.

    Perhaps you notice that I send this note on the 4th of July, Independence Day. While most Americans are celebrating, I mourn the loss of my constitutional freedoms to the special interests of the trail advocates and the railroads, and the weak character of the local politicians.

    Senator McCain, please investigate the corruption and fraud that the Rails-to-Trails Act has brought to the families along East Lake Sammamish, Washington. As chairman of the committee that has oversight, you have the authority to investigate, but more importantly, the responsibility.

    Sincerely,

    John Rasmussen
    USNA 1967

    1605 East Lake Sammamish Place S. E.
    Sammamish, Wa 98029



From: "Senator McCain" Senator_McCain@mccain.senate.gov
To: johnras@attglobal.net
Subject: Re: Railbanking Corruption
Date: Friday, January 26, 2001 7:04 AM

*Automated Response*

Dear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office. Your views and opinions are important to me.

Due to the high volume of Internet requests that I receive daily, I am unable to provide you with an immediate response. However, if you have included a current mailing address and phone number, you will receive a response by phone or via the U.S. Postal Service. If you did not include a mailing address and would like to receive a response, please feel free to 'reply' to this email, attach a copy of your original message, and be sure to include your postal address and phone number.

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I regret any inconvenience that this delay in corresponding may cause. Again, thank you for contacting my office.

Sincerely,

John McCain
U.S. Senator
Website www.senate.gov/~mccain