Maruca's Hard Drive Reappears

The IRS seems to be plagued by an epidemic of hard drive crashes. In an 11 February 2016 Statement to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the IRS insisted that the hard drive of former IRS official Samuel Maruca had been erased, despite the IRS's evidence preservation policies and procedures that pertained in the face of the litigation hold that had been imposed.

As observed last February by on this website, "[The Obama] administration and [its] Justice Department have no interest in going after blatant lawbreaking if the result would be contrary to the image that President Obama wants to project of the government bureaucracy under his direction."

Maruca's hard drive is believed to contain evidence relevant to Microsoft's lawsuit against the IRS, in which Microsoft contends that the IRS violated the taxpayer confidentiality laws by engaging the outside law firm of Quinn Emanuel to help perform a tax audit of Microsoft.

Just before the Easter holiday, Justice Department's attorneys Richard S. Hagerman and Stephen Ho informed the Court that Sam Maruca's hard drive has magically resurrected itelf. The judge in the case is the Hon. Ricardo S. Martinez, a son of agricultural laborers who worked his way up to his current station in life, an appointment to the Federal bench by President George W. Bush (notwithstanding his past involvement with the Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A), a hard leftist organization).

Regardless of political leanings, judges do not like reading or hearing false statements from or on behalf of the litigants who appear before them, nor are they ever happy with lawyers who facilitate or sustain such falsehoods. Hagerman and Ho were informed of the reappearance of Maruca's hard drive "during discussions on and from March 14 through March 23, 2016" with IRS people and, duty bound to inform the Court (and Microsoft counsel) of this development, made reasonably prompt disclosure.

If indeed the Justice Department has "no interest in going after blatant lawbreaking," neither do its individual attorneys have any interest in tarnishing their personal and professional reputations by becoming complicit in any misrepresentations before a judge whose lifetime job security frees him of the need to dance to any administration's tune.

Kenneth H. Ryesky is a lawyer who has taught business law and taxation at Queens College CUNY.  He formerly served as an attorney for the IRS.