FAIRBANKS, Alaska (BSP) Nicolas (Claus) Santa, Bishop of Myra, has been in federal custody since his arrest at the North Pole on Christmas Eve, 2011. Fish and Wildlife agents apprehended him and seized several tons of exotic woods forbidden by the Lacey act. Santa has been charged with multiple counts of money laundering, illegal exportation of currency, illegally importing into the United States toys made of contraband–rare woods, ivory and other banned substances, as well as violating slave labor and child labor laws. A grand jury has also indicted Santa on 190 counts of criminal failure to file the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). For those charges alone, Santa risks a sentence of 950 years in prison and fines equal to 300% of his wealth. Santa was laundering money from his illegal trafficking in toys.
His court-appointed representative, Legolas L’Elfe, has decried his treatment at the hands of federal authorities since his capture. Denied bail as a flight risk, his keepers abandoned him in his windowless cell at the federal detention centre in Fairbanks, Alaska, from February 22 – April 7, 2012. They gave him neither food nor water during this time, and at one point Santa despaired for his life, says L’Elfe. He survived by drinking his own urine. In addition, L’Elfe says, that Santa is a Greek orthodox bishop from the fourth century, when it was normal for priests and bishops to practice severe forms of asceticism. “If it had not been his practice to live many days without food and water, he probably would have died after the first seven days of isolation.” Federal authorities have issued an apology. They said that they are suffering from budget cuts and do not have sufficient personnel at the detention centre. They just simply forgot that they had put him in the cell.
So far no trial date is set. L’Elfe has demanded that the United States release Santa on grounds that his right to a speedy trial has been violated. An anonymous spokesperson for Justice Department retorted, “Who does he think he’s kidding. Nobody ever gets a speedy trial in the United States.”
L’Elfe has indicated that most of the charges stem from Santa’s alleged United States citizenship. State Department officials claim that Santa obtained citizenship during his brief interlude in the 1940s and 1950s of making movies in Hollywood, such as the beloved Miracle on 34th Street. L’Elfe says that this is a case of mistaken identity, and that Santa is actually a stateless individual who was born in the 4th century in the Roman Empire which has not existed as a nation since 1453.
L’Elfe has declined to comment on accusations of a recent report that Santa is a notorious felon whom the Emperor Diocletian (303-311) imprisoned for several years. The report claimed that the Emperor Constantine offered a general pardon to convicts like Santa and that he had been a fugitive until his recent capture by Fish and Wildlife agents.
Santa has asked to renounce his US citizenship in prison in a letter addressed to the State Department. But officials in the State Department refuse to enter the prison to hear his oath of renunciation. They claim that: (1) Santa must pay $450; but since his bank accounts were seized, he hasn’t a penny to his name; (2) he must be outside of the United States when he renounces, unless it is in a time of war; (3) even if Santa did renounce his citizenship, it would not relieve him of the taxes and penalties, including FBAR fines, that accrued while he was still a US citizen. L’Elfe says, “This is pure discrimination. If Eduardo Saverin can renounce his citizenship and save billions of dollars in capital-gains tax for money he made in the United States, why can’t Santa renounce and be relieved of FBAR violations for accounts containing charitable funds that international donors from around the world have gifted so that Santa could continue his benevolent work of providing good gifts to destitute children?” Commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman retorted, “We really don’t care if those accounts were for charitable purposes. It is clear that Santa had signing authority on them. He refused to file the FBARs and come clean on his taxes before we caught him so now he must face the full brunt of the law; we will crucify him so that others will comply.”
Nicolas Claus Santa in 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street