(DailyVantage.com) – A former contractor for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was sentenced to serve five years in prison for leaking the tax returns of the most prominent and wealthy personalities in America including former president Donald Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Between the years of 2018 and 2020, 38-year-old Washington, D.C. native Charles Edward Littlejohn was a confidential source for news outlets ProPublica and The New York Times, providing them with information and leaks from the tax collection agency that prosecutors called “unparalleled in the IRS’s history.”
Prosecutors accused Littlejohn of having intentions of breaching privacy laws and obtaining confidential and personal tax information from the get-go, beginning in 2017 when he applied for a job at the consulting firm that works with the IRS. Prosecutors said that as early as then, Littlejohn was pursuing a political agenda and already had the intention of gaining access to the tax records of former president Trump. Jonathan Jacobson, one of the prosecutors in the case, said that Littlejohn was motivated by a desire to “influence” the 2020 elections as well as “reshape” the then-prevailing political discourse in the country.
Despite pleading guilty to a charge of disclosing income tax return information without authorization, Littlejohn still received the maximum sentence for his crime. According to U.S. District Judge Ana Reyes, the presiding judge in his case, Littlejohn’s actions were tantamount to an attack on the Office of the President as well as an assault on the “constitutional democracy” of the United States.
All in all, Littlejohn leaked around 8,000 income tax returns related to roughly 7,600 individuals. The information he provided led to a series of articles in the New York Times that revealed that Trump did not pay any income tax for two-thirds of the 15 years before voters elected him to the White House. ProPublica, on the other hand, used the information to publish a series of investigative stories that detailed how America’s wealthiest individuals avoid paying taxes.
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