IRS Entrapment Tactics

As small children we probably all held the uninformed opinion that all policemen were honest and our friends. Further, we also believed that government was there to help promote freedom.

Sad to say, a disturbing, even sickening trend in modern police work is the need to obtain convictions at all costs. A decade ago the city of New York was enmeshed in scores of cases in which the police had brazenly lied about, and falsified evidence against, alleged criminals who were convicted on the basis of what was known among the NYPD as “testilying.” Many such cases were exposed major cities elsewhere. Similar police lies were exposed at the FBI Lab, NY State Police and Houston criminal investigation laboratories where test results were knowingly falsified to convict hundreds of innocent people.

So it should be no surprise to us to learn that two IRS attorneys have been suspended from practicing law for two years for what the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in San Francisco found: That they had defrauded the court by making a corrupt deal with a few airline pilots who bought tax shelters in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Under the deal, no IRS tax collection actions against the shelters of these pilots would be taken, in return for false testimony that would hurt many others. More than 1300 allegedly “abusive tax shelters” were involved in this IRS scam, which was exposed by a private tax defense attorney.

For their unethical service the IRS gave each lawyer a $1,000 bonus, and when bar complaints exposed their fraud, the IRS would not release information revealing in what state the attorneys were admitted to practice.

There are always rotten apples in every barrel. But in recent years the IRS has adopted an official attitude that every accused taxpayer is guilty until the taxpayer proves his/her innocence, which is a reversal of a basic, constitutionally guaranteed right to presumption of innocence. The IRS also has been quick to freeze bank accounts and slap liens on property well before a court has decided guilt. Several years ago the IRS published a list of people who had legitimate tax shelters that the IRS didn’t like. The implication being those people were tax evaders. The IRS later apologized, but the damage had been done.

There’s been a lot of talk in American political circles about the failure of the US intelligence agencies’ ability to defend us against terror attacks because of those agencies incompetence. How about an open debate about a tax collection system that views the public it’s supposed to serve as the enemy and has little compunction about lying to get false convictions?

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