More than a smidgen: IRS whistleblower's terrifying charges

A brave IRS lawyer named William Henck, a veteran of 26 years in the general counsel's office, has gone on the record with stunning charges of corruption. In a letter to Powerline, he details several instances of corruption that he has observed. These charges deserve official investigation, and because the Eric Holder Department of Justice cannot be trusted to appoint someone with an interest in getting at the truth, the charges ought to be part of a special prosecutor's mandate. Of all government agencies, the IRS has the most arbitrary and easily-abused power. Corruption within its ranks cannot be tolerated, for it has the potential to metastasize rapidly into banana republic tyranny

An excerpt detailing internal self-serving corruption follows, the type of thing that creates an atmosphere of invulnerability, virtually a license to fleece the taxpayers. There are other instances of favoring certain types of taxpayers, as well. The letter deserves to be read in its entirety:

I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring. As stated in more detail below, I have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit. I have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug.

A number of years ago, a manager in my office was embezzling thousands of dollars in travel funds. His actions were common knowledge, but other managers, including a currently high ranking executive in the office of chief counsel, did not report him. I did report his conduct to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), but they did not investigate the matter for a considerable length of time. After I complained to my local congressman's office, TIGTA finally forwarded the matter to the office of chief counsel to be handled internally. Eventually, the office of chief counsel made the manager pay the money back, but took no other disciplinary action, even though others who committed the same type of scheme were punished severely.

The manager in question has led a charmed life. Several years after this episode, he decided to retire, but was starting a new job in a different city two months before he was eligible to retire. He could have retired early or taken annual leave for two months before retiring. However, he did not want to take annual leave because federal employees can cash out annual leave when they retire. Rather than have him burn at least $20,000 in annual leave, the IRS transferred him to the new city, but did not give him any work, allowing him to work his new job while still receiving a government paycheck. I obtained an e-mail from this manager, in which he admitted that he had no work, that the IRS was not planning to give him any work in the new city, and that he was working on matters related to his new job while at the IRS. I forwarded this e-mail to TIGTA, but of course it was ignored by both TIGTA and the office of chief counsel. TIGTA has a well deserved reputation for protecting IRS managers. In fact, a TIGTA agent once stated that "we don't investigate [IRS] managers."

Hats off to Mr. Henck. The mess att he IRS must be taken very, very seriously, or else we shall lose our republic. It is now time for the House to investigate and loudly call for a special prosecutor. 

A brave IRS lawyer named William Henck, a veteran of 26 years in the general counsel's office, has gone on the record with stunning charges of corruption. In a letter to Powerline, he details several instances of corruption that he has observed. These charges deserve official investigation, and because the Eric Holder Department of Justice cannot be trusted to appoint someone with an interest in getting at the truth, the charges ought to be part of a special prosecutor's mandate. Of all government agencies, the IRS has the most arbitrary and easily-abused power. Corruption within its ranks cannot be tolerated, for it has the potential to metastasize rapidly into banana republic tyranny

An excerpt detailing internal self-serving corruption follows, the type of thing that creates an atmosphere of invulnerability, virtually a license to fleece the taxpayers. There are other instances of favoring certain types of taxpayers, as well. The letter deserves to be read in its entirety:

I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring. As stated in more detail below, I have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit. I have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug.

A number of years ago, a manager in my office was embezzling thousands of dollars in travel funds. His actions were common knowledge, but other managers, including a currently high ranking executive in the office of chief counsel, did not report him. I did report his conduct to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), but they did not investigate the matter for a considerable length of time. After I complained to my local congressman's office, TIGTA finally forwarded the matter to the office of chief counsel to be handled internally. Eventually, the office of chief counsel made the manager pay the money back, but took no other disciplinary action, even though others who committed the same type of scheme were punished severely.

The manager in question has led a charmed life. Several years after this episode, he decided to retire, but was starting a new job in a different city two months before he was eligible to retire. He could have retired early or taken annual leave for two months before retiring. However, he did not want to take annual leave because federal employees can cash out annual leave when they retire. Rather than have him burn at least $20,000 in annual leave, the IRS transferred him to the new city, but did not give him any work, allowing him to work his new job while still receiving a government paycheck. I obtained an e-mail from this manager, in which he admitted that he had no work, that the IRS was not planning to give him any work in the new city, and that he was working on matters related to his new job while at the IRS. I forwarded this e-mail to TIGTA, but of course it was ignored by both TIGTA and the office of chief counsel. TIGTA has a well deserved reputation for protecting IRS managers. In fact, a TIGTA agent once stated that "we don't investigate [IRS] managers."

Hats off to Mr. Henck. The mess att he IRS must be taken very, very seriously, or else we shall lose our republic. It is now time for the House to investigate and loudly call for a special prosecutor. 

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