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Cover-Up Exposed: 50,000 Americans’ IRS Files Were Stolen — Much Higher Than Previously Acknowledged

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Charles Littlejohn was only charged with one felony after leaking 50,000 Americans' tax data.

May 29 2024, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

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A victim of the largest theft of private taxpayer information claimed Charles Littlejohn stole the individual and business tax information of up to 70,000 people, has learned.

The reality of tens of thousands of victims was far different from what the IRS initially let on, who said Littlejohn's crimes effected "thousands" of individuals.

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In an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal, author Ira Stoll wrote about being alerted by the U.S. Treasury Department about their company's tax return being among the thousands leaked by the IRS thief, who disclosed the information to news outlets, including ProRepublica and The New York Times.

While notable celebrities said to be impacted by Littlejohn's crimes included LeBron James, Taylor Swift, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods — and Donald Trump, it's now been revealed that tens of thousands other citizens were also included in the leak.

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Carpenter attended a Kansas City Chiefs game and partied in a suite at MetLife Stadium with Swift in October, and the two have since grown increasingly close.

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Stolen files included years of tax returns, audits, gambling losses, details of stock trades and medical expense deductions.

Despite the severity of the former IRS contractor's crimes — and prosecutors noting the breach was "unparalleled in the IRS's history" — Littlejohn ended up pleading guilty to just one felony count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information.

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Oprah Winfrey's records were also said to be included in the leak.

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Littlejohn received just five years behind bars. Despite media attention around Trump's tax information being included in the leak, the ex-IRS contractor was not formally charged with stealing the ex-president's information due to the statute of limitations being reached on that particular threat.

U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes questioned why Littlejohn faced a single count — which effectively lumped the estimated 50,000 and 70,000 victims together — and imposed an additional three years of supervised release and a $5,000 fine.

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Littlejohn was not charged for disclosing ex-president Donald Trump's tax data to news outlets.

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While it was widely reported that handful of the nation's wealthiest celebrities were included in the leak, thousands of other private citizens are being notified that they, too, had personal and business information stolen.

"The Crime Victims’ Rights Act gives me the right to confer with government lawyers. I spoke by phone with two federal prosecutors, Jonathan Jacobson and Jennifer Clarke. Mr. Jacobson told me that 'over 50,000' and perhaps as many as 70,000 taxpayers have been affected by the disclosure, making it the largest known unauthorized disclosure of tax information in U.S. history," Stoll wrote in the Wall Street Journal column.

"The Justice Department’s sentencing memorandum in the case cites 'thousands' of victims, so many that it 'makes it impracticable' to provide everyone the rights guaranteed by law," Stoll continued. "The memo spoke of the 'psychological harm' Mr. Littlejohn had caused."

"Worse, it appears that the harm may continue indefinitely, the memo says, noting that the news organization 'has continued to publish stories' based on the leak."

"That means that victims who believe their information has only been disclosed to a news organization, but not yet to the general public, have no assurance that their personal information will not be the subject of a news article tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year."



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