IRS Forced to Apologize Over Leaked Tax Returns

( – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a formal apology on June 25 to Citadel LLC owner Kenneth Griffin as part of a settlement deal both parties struck. He had previously filed the lawsuit against the IRS after it was revealed that a government contractor named Charles Littlejohn illegally leaked his tax returns to investigative media outlet ProPublica back in 2019.

In a statement, the IRS said it wanted to express its sincere apology not only to the hedge fund manager but also to every single American whose confidential tax information was leaked. Both the IRS and Griffin filed the settlement agreement on June 24.

According to Griffin’s complaint, the IRS recognized that Littlejohn exploited its “willful failure” to organize technical, administrative, adequate, and physical safeguards to protect its information. In its statement, the agency also recognized that it failed to prevent Littlejohn’s criminal conduct in illegally disclosing Griffin’s confidential information. The IRS added that it assured Griffin and the victims of Littlejohn’s criminal actions that it has invested in its data security so their taxpayer data is better protected.

In January, the US Justice Department released a statement stating that authorities sentenced Littlejohn to five years behind bars for illegally revealing private tax information. The agency added that he pleaded guilty to that charge in October 2023.

Griffin’s lawsuit claimed that when the investigative media outlet published the confidential tax information, it acknowledged that the data was from many American citizens who sent their private tax information to the agency in “good faith.” The lawsuit added that ProPublica recognized that none of the people whose data was illegally published ever expected that it would be made public.

Griffin also claimed in his lawsuit against the IRS that the media outlet boasted that the data it received wasn’t only about tax returns but also about information related to numerous financial activities such as gambling winnings or even stock trades. The hedge fund manager also detailed that ProPublica eventually said that the agency was the source of the data it published.

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