Prosecutors are asking for an 18-24-month federal prison sentence for Grammy-Awarding winning Christian performer Phil Driscoll at his sentencing on Thursday for income tax evasion.
...Driscoll, who has continued to operate his ministry concert schedule, is due to appear before Federal Judge Curtis Collier at 2 p.m.
has since moved his
ministry out of Cleveland.
...The memorandum says Phil Driscoll was born in Seattle, Wash., in 1947, the son of a pastor of a small gospel church.
The family later moved to Lancaster, Tex., where Driscoll
began to play a trumpet given him by his
quickly became accomplished on it and was invited to play in the high school band while still in the sixth grade.
The family moved to Tulsa, Okla., in 1961, and Driscoll
played trumpet in the Tulsa All City Band and was a soloist in the Tulsa Youth Symphony.He
helped found a touring band called the "Young Tulsans" that is still in existence.
graduated from high school, he
was offered more than 60 music scholarships.However, he
took a year to tour the country with a jazz band.He enrolled at Baylor University in 1968 and the next year he cut his first gospel album.He
appeared on a number of TV shows, including the Ed Sullivan Show, the Merv Griffin Show and the Steve Allen Show.He
toured the Far East for the USO.
The memorandum says Driscoll
moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and opened a nightclub called "Driscoll's
began to write and record music in a small studio inside the club.His
music was recorded by Blood Sweat & Tears and other groups, and he
was invited to tour with Joe Cocker at the end of 1977.
It says Driscoll
during this time "was exposed to life in the fast lane and learned to like it."After a brief marriage in college, he
had been married again in the early 1970s, but that marriage did not last, though it produced a son, Shawn.
The memorandum says, "Fortunately, while in Jacksonville, Mr. Driscoll
met and fell in love with Lynne Blankenship, and she
has been with him ever since."
It says the couple went to church on Christmas Day 1977, and he
"had a conversion experience which changed not only his
heart but the entire direction of his
life and career.From that day on, he
resolved to dedicate himself to living a life of faith and to using his
talents to spread the gospel."
It says that resolve was interrupted a month later when he
was arrested and charged as part of a 32-count cocaine distribution conspiracy in Jacksonville."The matter was resolved, but it drastically affected the way he
was perceived in Jacksonville and contributed to his
decision to relocate."Driscoll
was ordained as a minister in the early 1980s, and he
moved to Cleveland, Tn., in 1982 because it was home to many Christian organizations and schools.He founded Mighty Horn Ministries in 1982.Driscoll
later won a Grammy Award, several Dove Awards and was named Artist of the Year by the Christian Music Association
Uniformly, they convey another common message - Phil Driscoll
is unique, because he
has an extraordinary talent and has devoted himself to using that ability to spread a message of faith and love of country."She
has performed at the Inauguration, the dedication of the Columbine memorial, the ceremony for the Congressional Medal of Honor winners and the post-9/11 Emmy Awards.Attorney Junghans said, "One of the most painful aspects of this prosecution has been that the accusations of wrongdoing were made not only against Mr. Driscoll but against his wife and late mother-in-law.
It is impossible for Mr. Driscoll
to escape the feeling that the pressure of the prosecution hastened Mrs. Blankenship's death, and the family's pain was enhanced by the spiteful and hurtful appearance of Richard Blankenship (brother of Lynne Driscoll who testified for the government)."
, who did not testify at the trial, said in a letter to the court that "our name and that of our ministry were marred and all but destroyed, and many of our closest friends turned their backs and walked away."Attorney Junghans said, "In this case, there can be no doubt that any misconduct involved pales in comparison to the enormous good Mr. Driscoll has accomplished - and hopes to continue to achieve.
The government is seeking an order for Driscoll
to pay almost $25,000 in costs of prosecution, and the IRS
has issued a notice of deficiency for more than $1 million in taxes, interest and penalties for the years 1996 through 1999.
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