(2010-2011) U. S. TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION (TIGTA) COMMITS COVER-UP OF SIGNER ALLEGATIONS

This is an account of the response the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office to my June 21, 2010 complaint regarding my observation of GM/IRS conspiracy to harass me into selling in 2005 and again in 2007-2008, as described in the Dealership History and Expanded Details on donsigner.com.  The complaint I filed is described in Expanded Details “(2010) Signer Reports GM/IRS Collusion to U. S. Treasury.”  Please note that readers may click on items in blue text below for access to supporting documents.

TIGTA cover-up scheme summary:  TIGTA is an independent Treasury Department entity that oversees IRS fraud, waste, and abuse.  Its responsibilities include the investigation of taxpayer complaints of serious IRS wrongdoing, including taxpayer harassment.  Internal documents I obtained in June 2011 reveal that multiple employees conspired in TIGTA’s circumvention of its investigation mandate by making false statements to reclassify my harassment complaint as a “tax issue.”  In defiance of the truth, TIGTA misled me, as well as two Members of Congress who had inquired on my behalf, to believe it had investigated my complaint.  TIGTA’s actions clearly appear to constitute a cover-up of the IRS harassment and collusion with GM as I alleged.

Two Page Summary of TIGTA action:  The text below that describes TIGTA’s response to my complaint is lengthy out of necessity to provide the full picture of the apparent cover-up scheme.  The story includes many links to supporting documents and websites.  For a brief overview, a two-page summary of this narrative is available here.

Understanding the basics

I have learned many things about the IRS and the Treasury Department that I never thought I would have reason to know as a result of two IRS audits that I firmly believe were performed as harassment to aid a powerful corporation, as well as my total destruction through GM’s Treasury Department-supported confiscation of my franchises in 2009.  Using knowledge gained from these unconscionable experiences and some research, I have put the pieces of the puzzle together that allow me to confidently make the cover-up statement above.  My observation of TIGTA’s response to my complaint closely fits this definition of the term “cover-up.”

Following are subjects I will review at the outset in order to form a foundation for readers to understand what TIGTA has done:

  1. TIGTA’s role in the Treasury Department
  2. Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 and how it affects TIGTA
  3. Section 1203 and Congressional Inquiry response requirements
  4. The GM/Treasury Department business partnership

1.  TIGTA’s role in the Treasury Department

On the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration website’s “What is TIGTA” page, the text begins, “The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was established in January 1999 in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) to provide independent oversight of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) activities.”

TIGTA has many functions listed on the web page; “The Investigative Program” is the particular function that handles complaints of criminal wrongdoing, of which mine is one.  The text begins, “The Office of Investigations investigates activities related to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement concerning activities of the IRS and related entities (the IRS Oversight Board and Chief Counsel).”  Stated two sentences later is, “TIGTA also conducts awareness presentations for IRS employees which focus on ethics and integrity and include examples of weak internal controls and employee fraud that occurred as a result.”  In short, TIGTA is the moral authority of the Treasury Department, with ethical oversight of the Internal Revenue Service.

On the Office of Investigations page, the Investigative Program’s three primary areas of concern are described.  My complaint falls into the “Employee Integrity” category.  Under that subheading it is stated,“IRS employee misconduct undermines the IRS’ ability to improve taxpayer customer service and effectively enforce tax laws and collect taxes owed.  TIGTA investigates employee misconduct allegations including extortion, bribery, theft, taxpayer abuses, false statements, and financial fraud, as well as contractor misconduct and fraud.”  Of these misconduct categories, “taxpayer abuses” and “false statements” are the ones that apply to my case, and that readers should keep in mind as they read my account of TIGTA’s actions.

TIGTA reports directly to the Secretary of the Treasury, as shown in this Department of the Treasury organizational chart.  Based on TIGTA’s position at the top of the chart, it would appear to be among the “elite” of the Treasury Department, and presumably set a high standard with impeccable ethics.  On the organizational chart, I direct readers to the “Office of Legislative Affairs” in the bottom row, a position that also reports directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary.  The Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs was involved in my TIGTA ordeal, and will be discussed later.

TIGTA’s organizational chart may be viewed here.  In the far right column is the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Tim Camus.  Mr. Camus heads the department that was responsible for my complaint, and reports directly to the Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Principal Deputy.  Mr. Camus is thus just one level away from the head of TIGTA, and two levels away from Treasury Secretary Geithner.

2.  Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998

The above stated Reform Act is the one previously mentioned that established TIGTA in 1999.  The Act plays an important role in TIGTA’s investigation program, and thus my story, so understanding it is important for following my case.

Complaints made to TIGTA, and apparently also to the IRS, are to be handled in accordance with Section 1203 of the Act.  Following is a statement from an IRS publication describing the Section 1203:

“Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (the “RRA”,) which provides generally that IRS employees must be terminated from Federal employment if they violate certain rules in connection with the performance of their official duties.”

In subsection (b) are several acts or omissions that would result in the termination of an IRS employee who is found to have committed one or more of them.  Two of the listed acts are ones of which I alleged violations:

(4) falsifying or destroying documents to conceal mistakes made by any employee with respect to a matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative;

(6) violations of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Department of Treasury regulations, or policies of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Internal Revenue Manual) for the purpose of retaliating against, or harassing, a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service;

The applicable pages of Section 1203, with the above subsections highlighted, may be viewed here.  The source of those pages of Section 1203 may be viewed here on the IRS web site. As will be noted later in the discussion of TIGTA file documents, TIGTA’s summary of my complaint, referred to as the “Complaint Narrative,” appears on multiple documents it produced.  The Complaint Narrative, in TIGTA’s own words, could not be more clear in stating that I allege harassment:

“Don Signer, owner of Don Signer Buick-Cadillac, Inc., alleges that the IRS has conspired with General Motors to harass and financially damage him.  According to Signer, GM has been trying to acquire his franchise and has used the IRS to assist in this goal.”

Although the above narrative accurately describes my allegations as conspired harassment, the second sentence contains two minor inaccuracies.  First, since in 2009 GM actually did acquire my franchises (again with the help of the Treasury Department,) the narrative should read, “… GM had been trying to acquire…”.  Also, “franchise” should be plural: Buick and Cadillac.  I wish to make it clear that the IRS Revenue Agent who was assigned both audits is not the target of my harassment allegation.  It is quite apparent that he was merely carrying out the orders of management levels above him in conspiracy with General Motors.  Consequently, the sources of harassment were at least one presumably upper level person at each the IRS and GM.

As I have described previously on this web site, in 2009 I filed a claim for refund of the tax that the IRS improperly assessed on me in 2008.  The claim was still under review at the time I filed the complaint in June 2010.  Although the bogus tax assessment resulted from what I believe was a GM-induced audit, the tax itself was a totally separate issue from the complaint that focused on harassment.  In summary, my complaint clearly alleges an act that is a violation of Section 1203.

The Internal Revenue Manual contains specific procedures for handling Section 1203 and non-Section 1203 complaints.  In general, Section 1203 complaints are the most serious, and are handled by TIGTA, which is independent of the IRS.  Non-Section 1203 cases are handled by the IRS’s Employee Conduct and Compliance Office (ECCO.)  The guidelines set forth by the IRS may be viewed here.  This particular section describes Taxpayer Advocate case procedures for handling customer complaints, but the determination of which agency processes the complaint would presumably be the same regardless of where the taxpayer files the complaint.  (I sent my complaint directly to TIGTA after having researched that it is the proper authority.)  Within the guidelines on the page is a list of Section 1203 violations, which again include falsification of documents, as well as harassment/retaliation.

Following is a direct quote from section 13.1.15.1 of the Manual regarding complaint handling:

“1.      Complaints about IRS employee conduct should be evaluated and acted upon according to the procedures described in RRA ’98 §1203 All Employee Guide (Document 11043). 

    • Allegations determined to be potential IRC §1203 violations will be sent to Treasury Inspector General for tax Administration (TIGTA) for processing and investigation, if required. See IRM 13.1.15.3, RRA98 §1203 – Employee Responsibilities.
    • Allegations determined to contain no §1203 violations will be handled using administrative procedures. See IRM 13.1.15.4 , Customer Complaints (Non – §1203 Violations).”

Following is a direct quote from section 13.1.15.4 of the Manual regarding non-Section 1203 complaints:

“1.      Issues or concerns involving IRS policy, procedure, or practice may be referred to the Human Capital Office, Employee Conduct and Compliance Office (ECCO).  ECCO ensures employee and taxpayer concerns about IRS employee conduct are addressed in a fair, objective and timely manner. For additional information see Document 11325, Don’t Let it Happen to You! Section 1203 Tax Compliance Violations.”

As my TIGTA complaint letter makes clear, and TIGTA internal documents repeatedly state, my allegation is of harassment by the IRS in conspiracy with GM.  Not included in TIGTA’s complaint narrative is my allegation of falsification of documents, which is also described in detail in the complaint.

Following is a summary of the above:

  • Taxpayer harassment is a Section 1203 act
  • My complaint is an allegation of taxpayer harassment
  • Allegations of potential Section 1203 violations are the responsibility of TIGTA to process and investigate

Consequently, my complaint indisputably is the responsibility of TIGTA.

3.  Section 1203 and Congressional Inquiry response requirements

Another act contained in Section 1203 is one regarding termination of an employee who responds improperly to a Congressional inquiry.  As this may apply to a TIGTA case, I mention it because two Members of Congress sent Congressional inquiries on my behalf that were mysteriously missing from TIGTA as will be discussed later.  The Section 1203 act (may be viewed on page 9 here) concerning congressional inquiries is quoted here:

“(7) willful misuse of the provisions of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry,

Named here in subsection (7), section 6103 involves confidentiality of tax returns.  A description may be viewed here.  While I don’t know if Act (7) directly applies in the TIGTA case, it can be safely assumed that TIGTA employees are required to tell what they know to Members of Congress who issue an inquiry.  This issue may be a factor with respect to an October 27 TIGTA e-mail regarding a Congressional inquiry, and responses TIGTA made in 2011 to two Members of Congress who had issued inquiries on my behalf.

4.  The GM/Treasury Department business partnership

As the Treasury Department became GM’s business partner in June 2009 by way of the controversial $50 billion TARP bailout of GM in 2009, my allegations of GM/IRS collusion became particularly sensitive.  At virtually the same time as TIGTA was planning its strategy on my complaint, on July 19, 2010, the Treasury Department’s Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) released a scathing reportThis report was highly critical of General Motors, and to a lesser degree Chrysler, for their improper methods of selecting dealers for termination when they filed bankruptcy, and questioned whether the terminations would provide any benefit whatsoever for a turnaround of the companies.  Furthermore, GM’s true plan in many, if not most, cases was to use the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry’s backing to steal businesses it wanted to give to favored people, as it did with mine.  In October 2010, SIGTARP opened an investigation of possible illegal activities by GM and Chrysler it its TARP-related dealer cuts.

The wisdom of the TARP bailout of GM and Chrysler had been highly debated before it was executed, causing the Obama Administration and the Treasury Department’s Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, which reported to Secretary Tim Geithner, to go out on a limb with its plan.  To those with a stake in the plan, it is obviously important that the plan succeed, especially in light of the initial public offering of GM stock.  The SIGTARP report cast a negative light on one important element of the bailout, and any negative publicity that would result from my complaint would add to the problem.  Worse yet in my case, the GM/IRS conspired action I allege was clearly a vicious attack designed solely to help destroy me for GM’s selfish reasons, not to save American jobs in a fragile economy as the TARP bailout was designed to do.

Based on the above high visibility of the Treasury Department/GM partnership, the Treasury Department (and GM) clearly had a motive to make my complaint go away quietly, and so developed a strategy to accomplish the goal.  Exposure of the GM/IRS conspiracy and suspicious audit process would clearly be damaging to the IRS, but possibly even worse for Treasury Secretary Geithner and President Obama in light of the controversial taxpayer bailout of GM.  But whatever TIGTA’s motive was to avoid performing an investigation, it is clear that it did not handle my complaint in accordance with TIGTA’s mission to investigate fraud, waste, and abuse within the IRS.  On March 9, 2011, I expressed my frustration at the lack of TIGTA action on my complaint to Jason Teramoto, a staff member in Congressman Stark’s Fremont office with whom I had been working.  I explained my observation of TIGTA’s investigation avoidance being driven by the Treasury Department/GM partnership, to which he replied, “Anecdotally, I think you’re right on.”  I appreciate this honest admission by the staff member of a liberal member of President Obama’s Democratic party.

Freedom of Information Act request for TIGTA investigation documents

As I had been unable to obtain any information on the status of the investigation, in February 2011 I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the file on my complaint.  I discuss this now ahead of the story since the documents obtained are the major part of the story that follows.  It took three requests to finally get some very limited meaningful information, so obtaining the documents is a story in itself.  Following is the FOIA request sequence of events.

First set of FOIA documents:  On February 9, 2011, I faxed and e-mailed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for “all documents produced to date by all parties relative to the investigation of my complaint.”  I later received a response dated March 9, 2011, which produced only fifty pages, most of which were documents I sent.  Only twelve of the fifty pages were items that I hadn’t sent TIGTA, and there was no meaningful information whatsoever on them.  All twelve of the TIGTA internal pages in the FOIA response may be viewed here.  Many of the pages look similar, but the TIGTA file numbers at the top center differentiate them (“Page 2 of 50”, etc.)  The meaningful information was redacted with “(b)(7)(c)”, which can be seen in the upper left of each redacted box.  (b)(7)(c) exemption involves personal privacy, and will be explained below.  According to the FOIA cover letter, TIGTA withheld eighteen other pages under exemption (b)(7)(c).

Not only did the documents provided tell me nothing about the status of the investigation, the file was missing most of the documents I had provided.  My June 21 complaint letter was there, but missing were all thirty of the evidence-providing attachments, many of which were multiple pages.  Many documents I provided after June 21, 2010, were also missing from the file.

On March 17, I discussed the missing documents with the two people involved in the production of them.  They responded that they had provided me everything in the file other than the 18 pages that had been withheld, presumably none of which were ones I had provided.  I asked if it was common to have this many documents missing, to which Disclosure Officer Amy Jones quickly answered that it is not.  She said that occasionally a page or two might be missing because it got caught up in the machine, but nothing like this.  I explained that I had experienced mysterious events every step of the way with the IRS since 2005, many of which were similarly acknowledged as highly unusual by IRS employees.

After some research, FOIA representatives mysteriously found an additional 125 pages, which are discussed below.  At this point, the initial document shortage, acknowledged as unusual by Ms. Jones, was bringing back memories of the 423 pages that were initially withheld from me in 2009, similarly acknowledged as unusual by an IRS Disclosure Specialist at the time.

Second set of FOIA documents:  On April 16, 2011, I received the second set of TIGTA file documents with a cover letter dated April 12, which produced 125 pages, of which 107 were released in full, 13 in part, and 5 pages withheld in full.  All of the pages that were provided in full were documents I had sent.  Among the additional documents provided in part, some were the recording of various events by a TIGTA Special Agent.   Some information was partially redacted, with (b)(7)(c) privacy issues again given as the reason.

The cover letter from the FOIA Disclosure Officer stated that I could appeal the decision about what documents had been withheld.  Accordingly, on May 7, I mailed an Appeal for TIGTA to supply me all documents that had been withheld, and full original copies of the previously provided redacted copies.

Third set of FOIA documents:  On June 11, 2011, I received a set of TIGTA file documents with a cover letter dated June 8, which produced 22 more pages.  Nine pages were withheld in full, now for a different reason, (b)(5).  FOIA exemption (b)(5) exempts inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums “which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.”

Of the documents provided in this third FOIA set, some were being provided to me for the first time, and others were duplicate copies of internal documents provided before, but now revealing part of what had been redacted before.

Following is a summary of the number of documents stated in the three cover letters I received with FOIA documents:

FOIA   document response date Total Full Partial Withheld
March   9, 2011 68 39 11 18
April   12, 2011 125 107 13 5
June 8,   2011 22* 13 1 9
Total 215 159 25 32

* TIGTA cover letter showed 22 total, but 13+1+9=23

Summarizing the FOIA document production, TIGTA’s response raises further questions about the integrity of its handling of my complaint.  My original request was for all documents in the file, which should have generated a document count the first time that included everything, even if a large number were furnished partially redacted, or withheld altogether.  Instead, with each response, more documents were “found,” with at least 97 of my own still missing altogether.  The Disclosure Officer’s comment about this being unusual reinforces my skepticism of TIGTA’s actions.

It is quite apparent that this document withholding gamesmanship was the last ditch effort to cover up the cover-up.  And countless documents remain withheld, which is very disturbing considering no investigation was conducted per the documents.

June 8 FOIA documents describe previously concealed path to no investigation

The little bit of meaningful new information I obtained in the third FOIA shipment on June 8 was revealed from text that had been previously redacted under the assertion of  “subsection (b)(7)(c)” as noted in the first two FOIA response cover letters.  An attachment to the first response letter shows the following definition for (b)(7)(c):

“The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U. S. C. 552, does not apply to matters that are records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

In other words, since (b)(7)(c) applies to all pages that were withheld and all text that was redacted on pages sent in the first two FOIA shipments, the following conditions would apply to the information contained therein and thus cause it to be withheld from me:

  • It was compiled for law enforcement purposes
  • It contains matters of personal privacy

The truth is, among the documents in the June 8 shipment, none of the previously (b)(7)(c)-blocked information that was newly revealed in the third shipment contained any matters of personal privacy.  Instead, they contained information that apparently TIGTA simply didn’t want me to know: TIGTA did not conduct an investigation.  So the (b)(7)(c) assertions were merely false reasons to cover up the fact that TIGTA did nothing, and documented multiple falsehoods to achieve the cover-up.

The June 8 response states that the basis for withholding information is now (b)(5,) defined as noted above in the June 8 letter to me.  It appears that (b)(5) is intended to apply to all documents that remain withheld after the last shipment.  So, if I am interpreting it correctly, TIGTA continues to withhold a considerable amount of information, but the reason for doing so has changed.

The Grand Cover Up Scheme revealed by TIGTA files documents

I will briefly summarize the picture painted by documents that TIGTA finally released to me in June, as knowledge of the plan up front will help readers understand how the developments that follow fit the scheme.  Taking the documents and my brief conversations with TIGTA and IRS personnel into consideration, it is my strong opinion that TIGTA, possibly in conjunction with others at the Treasury Department, developed an early strategy to make the complaint go away quietly by:

  • Misrepresenting the complaint by classifying it as a non-Section 1203 tax issue rather than conspired criminal harassment as was alleged.
  • Improperly referring it to the IRS from the start, falsely calling it an administrative tax issue; i. e. a dispute over a tax assessment.  The IRS lacks TIGTA’s law enforcement authority necessary to investigate a criminal allegation and prosecute suspects.
  • Hoping that by referring the complaint to the IRS that the IRS could make the complaint go away by refunding the tax I was assessed in the bogus 2008 audit.
  • A TIGTA Special Agent contacting me with questions about my complaint to falsely make it appear that an investigation was being conducted.
  • Dragging the case out as long as possible and refusing me status information with the apparent hope that I would give up and end my pursuit.

As the story unfolds, it will become apparent that TIGTA had no intention of properly investigating my complaint from the beginning.  In the process it deceived me for a year, as it also did Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer.

File documents show TIGTA planned to avoid investigation from the beginning

Among the documents in the first FOIA response was my complaint report cover letter, which had TIGTA’s date stamp on it that read, “Received JUL 15 2010,” with the letters “CMT” (Complaint Management Team.)  This date is twenty days after TIGTA actually received it on June 25, as shown by the U. S. Postal Service’s receipt, which follows the complaint letter’s first page in the above link to the letter’s first page.  The postal receipt contains a stamp reading, “CERTIFIED JUN 25, 2010 ROBERT JOHNSON.”  Part of the presumed last name is cut off in the receipt, but all except the “SON” appear clearly.  A discussion of this misstated date appears later.   

The very first internal document chronologically was the “Complaint Information” dated 7/16/10.  First in the link is the June 8 FOIA release, followed by the redacted version I received in the first FOIA response.  That new information was originally improperly concealed because of (b)(7)(c), “invasion of privacy.”  The case appears to have been assigned to TIGTA Agent Constance Johnson.  The newly revealed information shows TIGTA’s referral of the complaint to the IRS, falsely describing it as a “non-criminal personal/business tax issue” despite the contradictory “Complaint Narrative” stating that I allege harassment that appears 1/2″ below that statement.  TIGTA’s narrative mentions nothing about a tax issue.   

Chronologically, the next document is the “Complaint Referral Memorandum” form dated 7/19/10, which is a Monday, the next business day after the 7/16 “Complaint Information” noted above.  This form executes the plan described in the 7/16 form by referring my complaint from TIGTA to the IRS’s Employee Conduct and Compliance Office (ECCO,) which is described in the Section 1203 discussion earlier.  TIGTA withheld the Referral Memorandum document from me until the June 8 FOIA group.  Box 6 states, ““1203” Violation Alleged:  Yes (or) No.”  The “No” box is checked.  In box 11 of the Memorandum is stated, “Complaint narrative included.  See block 21.”  Block 21 is on the second page, which I didn’t receive.  However, an identical form dated 12/13/10 was in the file and included page 2, which had Block 21 stating the same Complaint Narrative alleging harassment as in the 7/16 Complaint Information.  Thus the Complaint Narrative totally discredits the “No 1203 violation alleged” statement on the same form.  It is interesting that Ms. Faltz-Heath signed the 7/19/10 document for Scott Sanders, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC.)  While this could have been innocently done, it would give Mr. Sanders deniability in case the false statement and cover-up were someday discovered.

As noted in the Section 1203 discussion earlier, the harassment I allege is indisputably a “1203” violation.  Furthermore, the subject of box 6 is the allegation of the complaint, not TIGTA’s determination after investigation.  As my allegation of harassment is crystal clear, the checking of the “No” box constitutes a willful false statement.  The “Complaint Referral Memorandum” refers the case to the IRS’s Employee Conduct and Compliance Office (ECCO,) which as noted in the Section 1203 discussion, is the destination of non-Section 1203 cases.  It is noteworthy that box 3 on the Referral Memorandum shows “Date Response Due to TIGTA JAN 19 2011.”  Six months seems to be an extremely long time to allow for a response, especially on a matter this serious, and is thus indicative of a stall tactic.

In analyzing the sequence of events that were documented at the very beginning of TIGTA’s action on my complaint, it cannot be reasonably believed that Ms. Faltz-Heath (and/or Scott Sanders) could receive my complaint on 7/15, and then so quickly develop the improper IRS referral plan that was documented the next day.  It seems it would take several hours just to read and fully absorb the lengthy complaint letter and supporting documents alleging conspired harassment.  As TIGTA’s IRS-ECCO referral action violated rules for Section 1203 allegations, it seems highly unlikely that either of the two individuals would unilaterally make such a knee-jerk improper response to a complex and potentially explosive complaint — and risk their careers with false statements on the forms.  Instead, it seems that considerable forethought and discussion, as well as plan approval (or even possibly creation) by upper levels of authority, would have occurred before Mr. Sanders and Ms. Faltz-Heath would put their names on statements they knew to be false.  It thus follows that planning had to have begun well before the misstated “Received JUL 15 2010″ date stamp.

While I believe that the content of my detailed June 21 letter and thirty supporting documents was sufficient to confirm the harassment conspiracy, it is possible that right after TIGTA received the complaint on June 25, some preliminary investigation was done.  That investigation might have confirmed my allegations, and possibly even who was responsible.  Whether or not TIGTA looked any further than my letter and supporting documents, it is possible that TIGTA originally truthfully date stamped my letter ”Received June 25,” and then changed the date changed later after the magnitude of impropriety was comprehended and the investigation avoidance scheme was developed.  In order to change the date stamp, it would have been easy to make a photo copy of the original but with the correct date stamp covered.  The false July 15 date stamp would then be applied to the new doctored copy, and the original destroyed.

In examining the FOIA documents I received, it is clear that the first page is different than the other two pages in the three-page cover letter, which may be viewed here.  To best view the difference in the first page versus the other two, view them with in reduced size so that each scroll advances one full page.  Scroll back and forth between the three pages and it is clear that the first page is shifted rightward by 1/4″ versus the other two pages.  The shift is most apparent by looking at the left margin of the text; the fact that the first page is on letterhead is irrelevant.  However, the rightward shift is further illustrated by the left vertical stripe on the letterhead, which is at the left edge on an original.  It should be noted that the page numbers at the top applied by the FOIA personnel (“Page 4 of 50″, etc.) line up perfectly on all three pages, while the text does not.  Also, if the pages are printed and then held up to light together, the shift of the first page will be clearly evident.  All things considered, it is clear to me that the “Received” date was altered.

The date stamp discrepancy appears to be related to the IRS’s bizarre last minute insertion of a new Acting Manager who, without fact or law as support, suspiciously reversed the revenue agent’s written allowance of my Form 1040X claim, as described in “(2010) Signer Reports GM/IRS Collusion to U. S. Treasury.”  As he arrived on, or slightly before, July 15, the date stamp would make it appear that the management change was made before the letter was received.  In reality, his appearance could have been another component of the master plan created between 6/25 and 7/15.

During a conversation in July 2011 with TIGTA FOIA Program Analyst Julissa Hurtado about the missing documents, she confirmed that a “Received” date stamp should reflect the date actually received, irrespective of when a letter is read or processed.  When I told her about the 20-day gap showing on my complaint letter, she was stumped.  The date gap of nearly three weeks (13 business days after deducting weekends and one holiday) compares to six other correspondences I have sent to the IRS and TIGTA, both before and after the complaint letter.  All were date stamped, or acknowledged in reply correspondence, with a date the same day received as shown by certified mail receipt, e-mail records, or fax records.  A summary and all of the documents may be viewed here.  Based on all observations of the date stamp discrepancy, there is no doubt in my mind that it is a lie.

All of the documents discussed so far were ones that I didn’t even know about until June 2011.  On July 19, 2010, TIGTA sent me its first communication, a letter acknowledging my complaint letter.    Statement of “This office will review your complaint and evaluate it for appropriate action” is made after it had already decided on the evasive course of action it charted in its 7/16 document, and enacted on 7/19.  This apparent form letter’s statement “This office will review…” indicates that it is normally sent when a complaint is received (June 25,) not three weeks later after a plan has been thoroughly developed and set in motion.  TIGTA’s first communication to me would turn out to be a foreshadowing of nearly a year of deception to follow.

On August 26, 2010, describing the IRS’s bizarre handling of my still pending 2005 Form 1040X refund claim in 2010, I sent TIGTA a letter amending my June 21 complaint.  The amendment requested both that TIGTA include that ordeal in its investigation, and also assist in initiating the processing of my 2008 Form 1045 refund that had been filed a year earlier.  Neither of these two items had anything to do with the collusion investigation that I assumed was in process, but were additional items I was asking to be investigated.

As a result of copies of my complaint letter I had furnished them, Congressman Pete Stark sent a letter on my behalf to the Treasury Department in August, and a representative of Senator Barbara Boxer did so in September.  I had met with, and furnished a copy of my TIGTA complaint letter and attachments to, Senator Feinstein Staff Member Christine Epress in July 2010.  Despite my multiple follow-up contacts with Ms. Epres, no action was ever taken on my behalf.

TIGTA assigns complaint to IRS Territory Manager

Note:  Some of the details of the Alonzo Bennett conversation will not seem relevant at first, but will make sense later.

After hearing nothing more after TIGTA’s July 19 acknowledgement letter, on September 14, 2010, I received a call from IRS San Jose Territory Manager Alonzo Bennett, who told me that he had been assigned the investigation of my complaint, and had received a copy of my June 21 letter and attachments.  He said he had received the assignment a couple of weeks earlier, but was gone until now.  He explained that he was a senior manager with the IRS, and also oversaw nearby smaller “P. O. D.’s” (Posts of Duty) that report to San Jose.  He added that he was in the process of being reassigned as Territory Manager of the Oakland IRS office the end of September, which also has several P. O. D.’s reporting to it.

Mr. Bennett went on to ask me some questions about the complaint I had written, to which I responded with answers and clarifications.  In obvious astonishment about the history, he told me that he had been with the IRS 28 years, 20 of which had been in management, and had “never seen anything like this.”  I told him that everybody I had talked to at the IRS, including a Taxpayer Advocate representative and a Disclosure Specialist, had been similarly baffled by various highly unusual occurrences I had experienced.

After discussion about the GM/IRS collusion, Mr. Bennett then asked me the status of my 2005 Form 1040X refund claim.  I explained about the bizarre process described in the expanded details section “(2009b-2011) IRS Refunds 2008 Audit Tax Assessment.”  I told him that I had received the revised conclusion denying my request, and would file for Appeals.  He asked me to e-mail him certain documents relating to the Form 1040X matter, which I did on September 15.  I made it clear to him, however, that my complaint to TIGTA was about GM’s collusion with the IRS in the two audits, and wished that to be the subject of the investigation.  Although the Form 1040X matter was a result of the second audit, it was a separate issue from my original complaint.  Mr. Bennett acknowledged his understanding of the separation.  He also told me that he would put the Form 1040X disallowance on hold while he reviewed matters.  I asked if he was in a position to re-evaluate the conclusion, to which he responded that he was.

After I expanded on the nightmares the IRS had put me through, Mr. Bennett went on to say, “I hate to ask; is there anything else?”  I responded that yes, there was, and then explained about the unprocessed 2008 Form 1045 for $29,101 refund I had filed more than a year earlier.  I explained that I had discussed it many times with the Agent reviewing my 2005 Form 1040X, as well as had filed a Taxpayer Advocate case in April 2010.  Despite all my efforts, the IRS had taken no action on the Form 1045.  Seemingly overwhelmed by all that had happened to me, Mr. Bennett told me that he would contact his manager and ask for assistance in investigating the TIGTA case.  He told me that he was going to a meeting in Los Angeles the following week, which he said he would like to get out of so he could stay home and work on my complaint.  However, he said he would have to go to the meeting, so would not make much progress on my case until he returned.

After repeatedly telling me that he had never seen anything like this in his 28 years with the IRS, in a display of genuine concern and respect, Mr. Bennett told me he appreciated my patience to date, and I had “carte blanche” to call him at any time.  He went on to say that if he wasn’t in his office, to call his secretary, who would contact him immediately.  He gave me his direct line phone number, followed by his secretary’s number.  He said if I didn’t hear from him by Friday morning (September 17) to call him.

More than once during the conversation Mr. Bennett had referred to my complaint as a “sensitive case.”  In fact, in the middle of the conversation, his cell phone rang, and he excused himself to answer it.  I heard him tell the caller that he was on a sensitive call, and would return the call after he finished with me.  The “sensitive case” status was presumably attached to my complaint by the IRS based on Code 38.2.1.3.3, “Cases Requiring Special Processing,” which are cases that involve certain individuals such as high-level government officials, or major corporations.  It would seem that my case was assigned special handling due to the fact that my allegations were of a criminal nature, well-documented, involved alleged wrongdoing by possibly high level GM and IRS officials, and my letter was copied to Members of Congress.  Additionally, the Treasury Department was GM’s business partner by way of the controversial $50 billion TARP bailout (of which I was a victim,) thus making a possible finding of GM/IRS collusion to have potentially negative political ramifications, most notably for President Obama.

Per Mr. Bennett’s September 14 instruction to “call him Friday morning,” I attempted to do so at 9:45 AM on September 17, and left him a voice mail.  I then sent an e-mail at 12:48 PM.  After not hearing from him, at 2:55 PM I called his secretary, Gail Macklin, as he had instructed me to do in the event that I couldn’t reach him.  As promised, he returned my call from his car within five minutes.  Mr. Bennett informed me that he had talked to an analyst in Washington, D. C., who gave him a time constraint, wanting the investigation “done yesterday.”  He told the analyst that he needed more time for his investigation due to the case’s complexity and sensitivity.  He also updated me on actions he had taken on my Form 1040X issue, and then concluded by reminding me that he was going to Los Angeles on Monday (September 20) for three days, and would call me Monday or Tuesday.  I would later learn that the analyst he talked to in Washington was Belinda Faltz-Heath, a TIGTA employee who was handling the complaint for TIGTA.

I was encouraged by the fact that the investigation was finally underway.  Mr. Bennett seemed to grasp the egregious nature of the events I had described, and to be committed to determining what had happened behind the scenes.  I was surprised, however, that TIGTA had assigned the investigation to an employee of the IRS rather than to a TIGTA employee based on my understanding of TIGTA’s independent oversight role.  Nevertheless, I assumed it must be standard procedure.

TIGTA reassigns case to a different Territory Manager

On Tuesday, September 21, Mr. Bennett called me as promised from Los Angeles.  He began the conversation saying he had good news and bad news.  He said that the bad news was that had been taken off the investigation, which he had been told was due to his reassignment to the Oakland IRS office on October 1.  He went on to say that my complaint had been reassigned to Mark Jaramillo, Territory Manager in a Southern California IRS office.  He said that he knew Mr. Jaramillo, who was competent and a good man, and he would contact me about the investigation.  He then said that the good news was that he would be in the Oakland office and would be in charge of my 1040X case, and continued, “if you understand what I’m saying.”  Also on September 21, Mr. Bennett forwarded to Mr. Jaramillo an e-mail and attachments I had sent him on September 15. I felt it was strange that the IRS would have assigned the investigation to Mr. Bennett in early September, apparently simultaneously with notice of the Oakland transfer, only to remove the investigation from him a week after it began.  He had informed me of the Oakland transfer on September 14 at the same time he first called me about the investigation.  Various elements of these odd occurrences would form pieces of a puzzle that would come together months later.

After not hearing from Mr. Jaramillo, I contacted Mr. Bennett on October 8 for assistance, and to discuss the pending Form 1040X that he had put on hold.  He apologized for not calling me earlier, telling me how busy he had been in the transition to the new office, which I could appreciate.  He told me that he sympathized with me about all I had been through with the IRS, and said he would call Mr. Jaramillo.  He also told me that the Group Manager handling the Form 1040X had been off work until that day, and he would talk to him about it. After hearing nothing further, I sent an e-mail to Mr. Bennett on October 18 expressing my frustration about still not hearing from Mr. Jaramillo, nor anything more about the Form 1040X that was on hold.  Upon reading this e-mail, Mr. Bennett called me immediately and apologized profusely for not getting back to me earlier.  I told him I had found Mr. Jaramillo’s phone number and would call him unless he had any objection, to which he replied that he didn’t.  He went on to tell me that he was approving my Form 1040X claim that would lead to a refund of the taxes the IRS had assessed in 2008.  This concession was discussed previously in the expanded details section (2009b-2011) IRS Refunds 2008 Audit Tax Assessment.

On October 19, I called Mr. Jaramillo and left him a voice mail to please call me.  The next day, Mr. Jaramillo returned my call and apologized for not calling me earlier, as he had received my complaint documents in early October and hadn’t gotten to it yet.  He said he had been on vacation part of the time, and he had been given till the end of October to report back to the person who had assigned him my case.  He told me he would read my complaint letter that night and then call me the following morning.

As promised, Mr. Jaramillo called me the following morning, October 21, and told me that he had read my complaint letter the night before.  I asked him his impression of all that had occurred, to which he replied succinctly, but meaningfully, “There’s a problem.” He went on to say that due to the nature of the allegations, he felt that, as an IRS employee, he shouldn’t be investigating such a complaint.  He said it should go back to TIGTA for it to investigate, and would send a notice to TIGTA stating as such.  I responded that I agreed completely, and was surprised that TIGTA assigned it to IRS employees in the first place as it is a criminal investigation.

Mr. Jaramillo went on to say that he felt that TIGTA might have thought that allowing me my claim for refund would have taken care of the complaint.  I responded that my complaint letter made it clear that the collusion and the Form 1040X were separate issues, which he acknowledged.  Later in the day on October 21, he informed me that he had called the TIGTA “SAC” (Special Agent in Charge) Scott Sanders to tell him he would be sending his recommendation that the complaint be returned to TIGTA for investigation.  He had also talked with TIGTA Program Analyst Belinda Faltz-Heath about it.  Scott Sanders was the person who, along with Program Analyst Belinda Faltz-Heath, had sent me the July 19 letter acknowledging receipt of my complaint.

Analysis of IRS Territory Managers’ involvement

When viewing the Bennett and Jaramillo conversations along with the TIGTA documents I received in June 2011, a pattern emerges that connects the roles of second Acting Manager Brian Maguire and first IRS Territory Manager Alonzo Bennett, as well as the flip-flop of removing him from the case.  In short, it appears that a component of the TIGTA cover-up scheme developed between June 25 and July 15, 2010, was an exchange of allowing my refund claim in return for my dropping, or at least losing interest in pursuing, my TIGTA complaint. As an IRS Territory Manager who would head the Oakland office as of October 1, Mr. Bennett would have the authority to reverse the disallowance on my Form 1040X refund claim.  He would also be in charge of my complaint, so he could directly or indirectly ask me if he would need to waste the time continuing the investigation.  It would seem that the TIGTA creator(s) of the cover-up scheme at least hoped the refund would cause me not to go to all the time, stress, and expense of jumping through the many hoops TIGTA would put in front of me in the months ahead.

This apparent refund-for-complaint-withdrawal trade-off scheme seems to also explain the mysterious last minute insertion of new Acting Manager Brian Maguire on, or slightly before, the (seemingly false) ”Received” stamp date of July 15, (discussed in the earlier section (2009b-2011) IRS Refunds 2008 Audit Tax Assessment.)  Shortly after his arrival, Mr. Maguire subsequently instructed Revenue Agent Cas Mar to change his conclusion in my favor to one against me, and to do research to find something to support his edict.  Disallowance would give the IRS a bargaining chip that would not exist if Cas Mar’s proper conclusion to allow my claim were allowed to stand.  It is noteworthy that in the June 21, 2010 cover letter to my detailed complaint was the third paragraph on page two that explained that the slow process of reviewing my 1040X refund claim prompted me to send the complaint before the 1040X was finalized, which I had preferred not to do.  The last sentence in that paragraph reads, “I am not requesting intervention by your office into Mr. Mar’s processing of my claim for refund, and ask that your office focus on the GM/IRS collusion issue.”  It appears that this comment triggered in somebody’s mind the devious override scheme that developed, and the accompanying “received” date alteration to help cover it up.  Further reinforcing the refund-for-complaint-withdrawal theory was IRS Territory Manager Mark Jaramillo’s aforementioned October 21 comment that TIGTA might have thought that allowing me my claim for refund would have taken care of the complaint.

Notes of my conversations with Mr. Mar in June and July 2010 reveal strange occurrences that support the above theory.  My conversations with Mr. Mar and Acting Manager Mike Adams in June 2010 gave me the feeling that they would ultimately allow my refund claim, although they made no direct statement as such.  On June 24, 2010, at 11:10 AM I called Cas Mar for an update on the status of my claim.  He said a couple of other cases have had priority, and he hadn’t worked on mine.  He went on that he wouldn’t have mine done by the end of the ”cycle,” which he said was June 25, but  hoped to have it done by end of month, hopefully by Monday, June 28.  He said he needed to “cover all the points” in what he writes.  He then said, “If we can have it agreed and signed,” then he could send it to processing and then work on 2006 Form 1040X and 2008 Form 1045 at same time.  (These were two other refund claims that depended on the outcome of the 2005 Form 1040X.)  To me, these statements clearly indicated that he had decided to allow my claim for refund.

On July 1, 2010, Mr. Mar called me to tell me he hadn’t worked on my claim, but said he would have it done by July 6, and then have Acting Manager Mike Adams review it and send it to counsel.  On July 7, he called me to tell me that IRS employees were told not to come to work on July 2 and 6 (the days in between were weekend and July 4 holiday) due to possible riots in Oakland when a jury verdict was expected to be announced on a murder case.  He said he would work on mine until he finished, possibly the following day, July 8.  On July 12, he left me a voice mail that he was still working on my case, after which I left him a voice mail to please call me the next day.  After not hearing back, I left another voice mail on July 14.  On July 15, he returned my call and explained that some statute of limitation cases came up and diverted him from my case.  He also told me that he had a new Acting Manager, Brian Maguire, whom he said reported to Acting Manager Mike Adams in a structure he didn’t understand.  This appears to be very strange where one Acting Manager reports to another.  Mr. Adams apparently was returned to his previous position a short time later.

In his first call to me on September 14, Mr. Bennett told me he was assigned my case a “couple of weeks” earlier.  That would have been August 31 or thereabouts, in eerie “coincidence” the day after the August 30 bogus final conclusion was written and mailed to me.  As additional support to the claim allowance/complaint withdrawal theory, on September 17 Mr. Bennett informed me that Cas Mar’s new Acting Manager Brian Maguire was now gone (immediately after August 30 disallowance conclusion was written) and Mr. Mar had been returned to his regular Group Manager.  So, it is clear to me that Mr. Maguire was put in that position just long enough to carry out the assignment of disallowing my claim for refund.  Following is the sequence of events:

  • 7/15/10: Sometime between 7/8 and 7/15, new Acting Manager Brian Maguire is put over Cas Mar.
  • 7/15/10: My complaint letter to TIGTA that was actually received on 6/25/10 showed a date stamp of “Received Jul 15.”
  • 7/27/10: Mr. Mar completes his 10-page conclusion in my favor after nearly six months of research.
  • 8/4/10: Mr. Maguire instructs Mr. Mar to rewrite conclusion in order to deny my claim, and to do research to support this conclusion.
  • 8/30/10: Mr. Mar completes the new conclusion against me as Mr. Maguire had instructed him.
  • 8/31/10 or immediately thereafter: Alonzo Bennett is assigned my complaint
  • 9/14/10: Alonzo Bennett contacts me for first time, apologizes for IRS conduct described in my complaint.  He says he will put my 1040X negative conclusion on hold.  I ask him if he has authority to reevaluate the decision, to which he replies that he does.
  • <9/17/10: Per Alonzo Bennett on 9/17, Mr. Maguire was removed as Cas Mar’s Acting Manager, and Mr. Mar was reassigned to his regular manager.  Mr. Maguire had been over Mr. Mar as of 8/30, so his exit occurred between 8/30 and 9/17.

Allowance of the claim would benefit me by about $155,000 based on about $120,000 in Federal tax refund with interest, and a savings of about $35,000 with interest in a pending State tax assessment based on the IRS’s 2008 assessment.  If this was in fact TIGTA’s strategy, they apparently hoped I would perceive this as adequate incentive to make the ugly collusion story go away.  If that was the plan, it was a devious one; but I have been conditioned to be surprised by nothing.

In our first telephone conversation, I believe that Mr. Bennett firmly grasped the level of my commitment to pursue, and confidence in winning, appeal of the Form 1040X disallowance.  I’m certain he could also understand the high importance to me of seeing justice done on the GM/IRS collusion issue.  This combination would certainly cause Mr. Bennett to perceive that I would not agree to an exchange of claim allowance for complaint withdrawal, whether or not TIGTA made the exchange suggestion to the IRS and/or Mr. Bennett.

As discussed earlier, Mr. Bennett was shocked about what had happened to me, and seemed genuinely committed to doing a thorough investigation.  On Friday, 9/17, he told me he had asked his manager for assistance in the investigation, and the TIGTA Analyst gave him a time constraint wanting it “done yesterday,” to which he responded that he needed more time.  On September 21, he told me he had been taken off the case because he would be taking over the Oakland IRS office.

Based on the developments described above, it appears to me that after Mr. Bennett expressed to his manager and the Analyst his concern for how I had been treated, and indicated his commitment to doing a thorough investigation, the Analyst suddenly pushed for him to rush through it.  This theory is supported by the July 19 Complaint Referral Memorandum where, in the upper right of the form, box 3 states, ”Date Response Due to TIGTA Jan 19, 2011,” which was 4 months after TIGTA told Mr. Bennett they wanted it “yesterday.”  Mr. Bennett instead insisted on doing it right, and then was swiftly taken off the case.  Since the pending Oakland transfer was apparently known when he was assigned the case, and possibly even done at the same time as part of the cover-up scheme, it seems that the Oakland transfer was simply used as the excuse to remove him from the case.  It is noteworthy that after the case left Mr. Bennett’s hands, the urgency expressed by TIGTA disappeared.  In summary, it appears that Ms. Faltz-Heath (or those above her calling the shots) simply viewed Mr. Bennett’s demonstrated high moral character as a threat to TIGTA’s cover-up scheme.

An additional suspicious factor is that Mr. Bennett was that apparently taking direction directly from TIGTA Program Analyst Belinda Faltz-Heath.  As an IRS employee, Mr. Bennett does not report to her, or even to TIGTA.  Ms. Faltz-Heath had referred the case to the IRS Employee Conduct and Compliance Office (ECCO) on July 19 due to her (false) classification of the case as a non-1203 allegation, which meant it was out of TIGTA’s hands, and direction should come from ECCO.  There was an absence of FOIA documents showing any communication between ECCO and Mr. Bennett.

After reading my complaint, Mr. Jaramillo rightfully determined that the case should go back to TIGTA for investigation as he knew the complaint was not a tax issue as TIGTA had attempted to categorize it.  On 10/22/10 he returned the Complaint Referral Memorandum to the IRS ECCO, who in turn e-mailed it to TIGTA on 10/25.  Mr. Jaramillo’s return of the complaint to TIGTA seemingly derailed TIGTA’s attempt to pass the complaint off as a simple tax dispute.  As TIGTA had effectively been caught in its improper referral to the IRS, it appears that it had no choice but to honor Mr. Jaramillo’s proper assessment.  As with Mr. Bennett, Mr. Jaramillo was also apparently taking direction from TIGTA Assistant SAC Scott Sanders and Program Analyst Belinda Faltz-Heath, to whom he does not report.  This further supports the observation that, while TIGTA released my complaint to the IRS ECCO, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Faltz-Heath still retained full control of IRS actions seemingly to assure that the cover-up scheme was executed as planned.

On December 1, 2010, Mr. Jaramillo was interviewed by a TIGTA Special Agent.  He stated that he returned the case to TIGTA because he “did not have the authority to investigate IRS executives and management above his pay grade.”  This would indicate that, after reading my detailed complaint, his assessment of the source of the IRS’s assault on me came from above Territory Manager.  It is my understanding that Territory Manager is two levels above Revenue Agent, with Group Manager in between.  Territory Manager is a high level position, as Alonzo Bennett said that as San Jose Territory Manager, he had 200 people under him.  So, Mr. Jaramillo’s assessment agreed with mine that people high in the IRS directed the audits.  While Mr. Jaramillo’s statement doesn’t address it, another issue is that Mr. Jaramillo doesn’t have TIGTA’s law enforcement authority to prosecute criminal acts.

My attempts to obtain status and plan of investigation are thwarted

On October 26, I sent an e-mail to TIGTA’s Mr. Sanders and Ms. Faltz-Heath, with copies to the Members of Congress to whom I had furnished copies of my complaint.  My e-mail summarized the history of the IRS’s response to my complaint, and requested TIGTA’s plan for investigation.  Unbeknownst to me at the time was an e-mail that I received in the June 8, 2011, FOIA documents.  That e-mail, dated October 27, was from Ms. Faltz-Heath to TIGTA Internal Affairs Division (IAD) Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Bernard Williams discussing my complaint that she had just sent to the IAD.  The IAD is apparently the proper division to investigate IRS criminal allegations; to where the complaint should have been referred at the beginning.  In the e-mail, Ms. Faltz-Heath also stated that (TIGTA Communications Director) Karen Kraushaar questioned if a “Congressional” (inquiry) had been received, since I had cc’d several Members of Congress.  The e-mail states that no “Congressional” had been received.

This “TIGTA – Chronological Case Worksheet” shows that the (complaint) letter was submitted for review on 7/15 with initials “cj” (TIGTA Agent Constance Johnson,) and then on 7/16 “Complaint reviewed and signed/PARIS updated and closed,” with initials BSF (TIGTA Program Analyst Belinda Faltz-Heath.)  It shows “FWD” on 7/19, which presumably means the Ms. Johnson forwarded the case to the IRS as per the July 19 Complaint Memorandum.  It was out of Ms. Johnson’s hands until 10/27, when it was returned to here as a result of IRS Territory Manager properly returning the case to TIGTA.  On that date, she recorded her receipt of accumulated additional information she had received.  On a form that includes ”C1. Complaint Tracking,” it shows Constance Johnson in section C1.  Above C1 it shows,  “Total time = 25 hours.”  If that is only Ms. Johnson’s time, it is very curious considering the Chronological Case Worksheet that shows she did nearly nothing.  Ms. Johnson did nothing more after 10/27/10, as the case would be sent to the Internal Affairs Division that same day.

After receiving no response to my October 26 e-mail to Ms. Faltz-Heath, on November 8 I contacted Mr. Jaramillo for assistance.  He responded that he would call the SAC office again, which was followed by his sending of an e-mail to Ms. Faltz-Heath expressing my frustration.  She replied to him with a response that offered no assistance, which Mr. Jaramillo forwarded to me.

Frustrated by Ms. Faltz-Heath’s response to Mr. Jaramillo that dodged the issue and told me nothing about the status of the complaint I had sent more than 4 ½ months earlier, on November 10 I sent Ms. Faltz-Heath an e-mail expressing my frustration about the lack of progress in the investigation, and the criminal nature of my complaint.  I requested the name and contact information for the person who would be doing the investigation.  I never received a response.

The above sequence of events reveals that after Mr. Jaramillo returned the case to TIGTA in October, TIGTA put the complaint in stall mode, as it never wanted to handle it in the first place.  I received no communication from Ms. Faltz-Heath, despite multiple attempts between 10/26 and 11/10 and assistance from Mr. Jaramillo.  Of note is the 11/9 e-mail sequence in which Mark Jaramillo e-mailed Ms. Faltz-Heath to express my frustration and seek information.  In that e-mail she stated, “His information was forwarded to our field office for investigative determination.  I really can’t tell what the status is at this point.  He may want to wait at least 60 days to inquire as to what the status is.  He can always go through our Disclosure office to request information.”  Ms. Faltz-Heath’s statement of “investigative determination” irritatingly implies that now, more than four months after receiving my complaint, they are deciding what to do with it.

To me, the e-mail’s reference to “field office” means somewhere else in the country, possibly Oakland.  She made no offer to help, or check with the “field office.”  I happened to notice in the FOIA file documents that Ms. Faltz-Heath’s phone number is 202-927-7014, her manager Scott Sanders’ is 202-927-7203, Bernard Williams’ (IAD SAC) number is 202-927-7197, and Kris Pasquale’s, to whom Bernard Williams would later assign the case, is 202-927-7017.  So, the “field office” is obviously not too many feet from Ms. Faltz-Heath’s office, at least on the same floor.  (I have learned that all of TIGTA’s Washington operations are in three floors of one building.)  Ms. Faltz-Heath’s refusal to communicate with me, and creation of misleading e-mail statements, constitute further stall tactics consistent with the apparent cover-up scheme.

I would later learn that on November 5, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Kim Wallace had forwarded Congressman Pete Stark’s August 11 inquiry letter to TIGTA.  At the time, Assistant Secretary Wallace headed the Treasury Department’s Legislative Affairs Office, which, in part, “…responds directly to Congressional inquiries and facilitates replies from other offices in the [Treasury] Department, monitors the flow of Congressional correspondence to ensure accurate and prompt response…”  President Obama’s March 2009 announcement of his appointment of Mr. Wallace may be viewed here.  Although in 2013 Mr. Wallace and Mr. Geithner are no longer with the Treasury Department, Mr. Wallace’s position reports directly to the Secretary of the Treasury.  There was no explanation for Mr. Wallaces’s mysterious nearly three-month delay in forwarding Congressman Stark’s inquiry to TIGTA.

On November 18, I hand-delivered a letter to my contact at Congressman Stark’s office, District Director Jo Cazenave.  This letter to Congressman Stark expressed frustration about TIGTA’s unexplained delays, and updating him on what I considered to be TIGTA’s mishandling of my complaint.  Congressman Stark immediately forwarded my letter to the Department of Treasury with a letter requesting an expeditious response.

On November 24, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Kim Wallace forwarded Senator Boxer’s September 28 inquiry letter to TIGTA.  As with the long delay of Congressman Stark’s letter, there was no explanation for the nearly two-month delay in forwarding Senator Boxer’s inquiry to TIGTA.  The delay must have been unusual based on Karen Kraushaar’s question about the lack of “Congressionals” (inquiries) referred to in the October 27 Faltz-Heath e-mail.  It appears that Mr. Wallace finally forwarded the two “Congressionals” only after October and November e-mails and letters from me, Mark Jaramillo, and Congressman Stark.  So, it appears clear to me that Mr. Wallace purposely withheld the inquiries from Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer as part of the overall cover-up scheme to make the case go away quietly.

At this point in late November 2010, it had been five months since TIGTA received my complaint, and the investigation was back to square one.

Mystery surrounding missing Congressional Inquiries

It was discussed above that Ms. Faltz-Heath’s October 27 e-mail to IAD SAC Bernard Williams noted that, despite my cc’s to Members of Congress, no “Congressional” [inquiry] had been received.  It was noted earlier in this narrative in the Section 1203 discussion about concealing information from a Congressional inquiry, so it would seem important for TIGTA to respond properly.  It is reasonable to assume that after Ms. Faltz-Heath’s October 27 e-mail a further search was conducted, which would have included a contact of Mr. Wallace’s office.  It is likely that the contact revealed the existence of at least Congressman Stark’s August 11 inquiry, which prompted Mr. Wallace’s 11/5 forwarding of the letter to TIGTA.  Mr. Wallace’s subsequent 11/24 forwarding of Senator Boxer’s 9/28 inquiry was done about the same time as Congressman Stark’s forwarding of my 11/18 letter to the Department of the Treasury, presumably to Assistant Secretary Wallace.

Seemingly under the pressure of the series of congressional inquiries, TIGTA took action to make me believe that an investigation was being conducted.  Accordingly, it assigned my dormant complaint to TIGTA Special Agent Kris Pasquale on 11/24 as shown on this “TIGTA – Chronological Case Worksheet”.  This document shows the 10/27/10 communication between Ms. Faltz-Heath and Mr. Williams, the 11/24 assignment to Mr. Pasquale, his 11/26 review of complaint documentation, and then his 12/1 first contact to me.  Mr. Pasquale’s 11/26 review of complaint documentation is shown on this “Memorandum of Interview or Activity”.  His review date and time were backdated to 10/27/10 at 1:57 PM, which is the exact time of Ms. Faltz-Heath’s e-mail to TIGTA IAD SAC Bernard Williams forwarding attached documents.

Adding further support to the appearance that TIGTA was avoiding action on my complaint is a comment in “C3. Remarks” on another TIGTA document where it states, “This complaint arrived at IAD at 104 days old.”  (It should be noted that the “104-day-old” comment had previously been redacted as shown on the second page in the link.)  This would presumably mean that a 104 day delay is unusually long.  As IAD received the complaint on 10/27/10, that is 104 days after the 7/15/10 TIGTA “Received” date stamp on 6/21/10 letter.  Since the date stamp was misstated, the case was really 20 days older based on TIGTA’s certified receipt on 6/25/10, making the case actually 124 days old on 10/27/10.  Furthermore, it was 28 days older yet, or 152 days total, by the time IAD finally assigned it to Special Agent Pasquale on 11/24/10.  And even that assignment was seemingly made only due to the November sequence of events, which began with my 10/26 e-mail to Ms. Faltz-Heath showing cc’s to Members of Congress and appears to have led to the discovery and forwarding of the Congressional inquiries.

In attempting to understand the strange events, one would question Assistant Treasury Secretary Wallace’s withholding of the Congressional Inquiries for nearly three and two months respectively.  A report of apparent communication in August 2010 between Assistant Secretary Wallace’s office and TIGTA appears in Congressman Stark’s 8/30/10 letter to me, in which he informs me of the Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Treasury’s (presumably Mr. Wallace’s) acknowledgement of his inquiry on my behalf.  Mr. Wallace’s letter had stated that they “are working on the matter.”  Since there was no record of a “Congressional” [inquiry] per Ms. Faltz-Heath’s 10/27 e-mail, it would imply that the August communication back and forth between Mr. Wallace and TIGTA, presumably with somebody at upper levels, would have either been done verbally, or in writing with TIGTA destroying the records.

The combination of obvious avoidance of investigation and the mysterious handling of the Congressional inquiries that surface only as a result of my 10/26 e-mail showing cc’s, appear to be further elements of the conspired cover-up scheme.  If there were no record of the inquiries, no responses would be necessary.  If the inquiries did show up, the less TIGTA would know about the source of wrongdoing that I allege, the less it would have to tell the Members of Congress.  This issue may, at least in part, explain TIGTA’s gamesmanship in its steadfast refusal to conduct an investigation of my case, one that would presumably yield incriminating findings.

The TIGTA Special Agent “investigation”: Eight days of illusion

On December 1, 2010, I received a call from a TIGTA Special Agent Kris Pasquale who said that he had been assigned the investigation of my complaint, telling me that his office handles “high-level cases.”  In the course of the conversation I asked him what documents TIGTA had provided him.  He responded with the items, which consisted of the two-page August 26 amendment I had sent to TIGTA regarding the Form 1040X mishandling, documents I had e-mailed to Mr. Bennett in September, and others to Mr. Jaramillo in October.  Conspicuously absent from what he had been furnished for the investigation was my June 21 complaint letter.  In shock that TIGTA had assigned him the investigation without even providing him the complaint letter and supporting documents, I asked Mr. Pasquale again if I had heard him correctly, to which he confirmed that I had.  I told him that I would e-mail them to him immediately.  Page two of the “Memorandum of Interview or Activity” confirms the absence of the June 21 complaint.  This withholding of the primary complaint file is yet another in an endless series of bizarre occurrences.

I also asked Mr. Pasquale if he would be contacting GM employees who may have been involved with the IRS, to which he responded that he couldn’t tell me anything about the investigation.  I then asked if it would be helpful if I provided names and contact information for GM employees who may have knowledge of a GM/IRS connection, to which he responded that it would.  Mr. Pasquale told me that he would read the complaint documents I would e-mail after the conversation, and then call me on December 6 to discuss the complaint.  He asked me to have the GM employee contact list ready for me at that time.  After concluding the phone call, I e-mailed the documents in my June 21 complaint package: the three-page cover letter, the 20-page letter I had provided the IRS Revenue Agent on March 1, 2010, and thirty attached supporting documents, many of which were multiple pages, referred to by footnotes in the letter.  The following day I e-mailed Mr. Pasquale a summary of the documents I had sent the day before, which had been broken down into three separate e-mails.  I asked him to reply with confirmation that he had received them all.  While he didn’t reply, I confirmed on December 6 that he received them.

On December 6, Mr. Pasquale called me as planned, swore me in, and then asked various questions about my complaint.  It wasn’t a long conversation, as my complaint letter explained everything in detail.  Apparently referring to my August 26 amendment to my June 21 complaint, Mr. Pasquale asked me if I would like him to also investigate the IRS’s 2010 handling of my Form 1040X refund claim.  I replied that the last minute override by the new Acting Manager should be looked at, but GM probably wasn’t involved with that mysterious ordeal.  (I later found suggestions of possible GM involvement, and e-mailed Mr. Pasquale on December 17.)  As we were concluding the conversation, I asked Mr. Pasquale when I would hear from him again with a status report.  He replied that legally he couldn’t tell me anything about the investigation, but if criminal charges were filed as a result, the information would become public, and he would contact me to testify.  I told him that would be fine, and to feel free to call me with any further questions that might come up.

Later in the day on December 6, I e-mailed Mr. Pasquale the list of GM employee “persons of interest,” per the request he made on December 1.  On December 7, I sent him an e-mail with a duplicate of the employee list that included some additional information, as well as a portion of a transcript of a January 27, 2009, deposition taken in my lawsuit against GM.  In the deposition questioning, GM’s attorney had asked me if I planned to claim damages against GM for the IRS audits, which I felt was strong indication that he had knowledge of GM’s involvement.  On December 8, Mr. Pasquale e-mailed me a reply to my December 7 e-mail stating, “I truly appreciate the effort you put into providing me the information below.  If I have further, follow-up questions for you, I appreciate you being willing to be available for re-contact.”

While it had taken more than five months since I had sent my June 21 complaint, I was quite encouraged that the investigation was finally in the proper hands.  Mr. Pasquale seemed to be very competent and to grasp the criminal potential of the IRS and GM’s actions.  Like Alonzo Bennett, he appeared to be energetically committed to doing a thorough investigation.  His questions about my wanting him to also investigate the Form 1040X refund claim handling, and his comments about the possibility of criminal charges being filed, made it clear that there was no misunderstanding that criminal GM/IRS collusion was the focus of my complaint, and thus the subject of his investigation.  This confirmation of purpose also addressed Mr. Jaramillo’s stated concern that TIGTA had possibly misinterpreted my complaint as a tax related issue.  As my allegation was that GM and the IRS conspired to damage me in a six-figure amount, the crime extends well into the felony range.

While I was encouraged by the above sequence of events in early December, concerns lingered about TIGTA’s evasive and seemingly improper handling to date, the long delays, non-response to my e-mails, and mysterious withholding of Congressional inquiries cast doubt on its commitment to a proper investigation.  Nevertheless, in spite of the events leading up to Mr. Pasquale’s involvement, I was happy that TIGTA appeared to finally be treating my complaint seriously, and had assigned the investigation to the proper person.

Additional information provided to TIGTA Special Agent

December 17 e-mail:  After I had talked to Mr. Pasquale during the first week of December, I reviewed some documents involving the IRS’s review in 2010 of my 2005 Form 1040X refund claim, and connected some dots that suggested possible GM influence.  On December 17, I sent Mr. Pasquale an e-mail requesting that he incorporate the IRS’s bizarre handling in 2010 of my 2005 1040X refund claim, namely the second Acting Manager’s last minute override.  The e-mail, which had four attachments, discussed points contained in the expanded details “(2009b-2011) IRS Refunds 2008 Audit Tax Assessment.”

January 6, 2011 e-mail:  I sent Mr. Pasquale another e-mail with some additional information and documentation that I felt might be helpful in the investigation.  The e-mail contained four attachments.  I also asked for an update on the status of the investigation.

For both the December 17 and January 6 e-mails, I received electronic confirmation that Mr. Pasquale had read them, but I never received acknowledgement from him.

On February 3, 2011, nearly two months after last hearing from Mr. Pasquale on December 8, I called him to seek an update.  I left a voice mail, but received no return call.  The following day, I called again and he answered.  In response to my question, he said that he couldn’t tell me anything about the investigation, but I could make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the file.  He also informed me that the case was “out of his hands,” and he had forwarded all my e-mails, to “the appropriate person.”  While Mr. Pasquale was very polite, I detected a tone of irritation that the case was no longer his.  In retrospect, it appears that Mr. Pasquale’s suggestion of a FOIA request was made in hopes that I would obtain the documents and connect the dots of the TIGTA sham that presumably ran against his ethical nature.  On February 9, I began the long, frustrating FOIA request process described earlier in this narrative.  

FOIA file documents reveal that Special Agent’s “investigation” was a charade

Upon receipt of the FOIA documents in June 2011, I learned that on December 9, 2010, Mr. Pasquale was taken off the case and no investigation was ever conducted.  It is obvious to me that TIGTA’s assignment of my complaint to Mr. Pasquale was intended to make me believe an investigation would take place beginning immediately after Mr. Pasquale’s discussions with me in the first eight days of December.  The illusion created by this sham would pacify me, as well as the inquiring Members of Congress, that TIGTA was taking proper investigative action.  After December 8, TIGTA’s job was secretly done, as it could then hide behind confidentiality laws to protect them from telling me any more.

Following is an analysis of the events that occurred after TIGTA Special Agent Pasquale’s first conversation with me on 12/1/10, supported by links to TIGTA file documents I received in June 2011.

Mr. Pasquale called me on 12/1/10, as described in his Memorandum of InterviewHe called me again on 12/6/10 as described in another Memorandum of InterviewThese were followed by brief correspondences on 12/7/10 and 12/8/10.  In response to information I sent him, Mr. Pasquale responded with a ”thank you” e-mail on 12/8, which would turn out to be the last I ever heard from him.  On 12/9, he was abruptly removed from the case as shown in the aforementioned “TIGTA – Chronological Case Worksheet”.  This document shows the previously discussed October and November events, followed by December’s eight days of illusion, with activity ending on the eighth.  Once TIGTA had firmly planted the belief of an investigation in my mind, on 12/9 the case was then immediately whisked back to IRS ECCO for quiet final burial by resurrecting and redocumenting on 12/9 and 12/13 the falsehoods of 7/16 and 7/19.

FOIA file documents, all of which reveal information that had been previously redacted, show details of TIGTA’s false statements and referral once again to the IRS, this time for final burial.  Those documents, all dated 12/9/10,  may be viewed by clicking on the links shown below.  The documents displayed in each link contain duplicate copies of each page; the first copy with (b)(7)(c) “personal privacy” (which it is not) removed, and the second showing the original redacted version I received.  The copies with the redaction removed were furnished to me as a result of my Freedom of Infornation Act appeal to reveal previously withheld information.

  • S1. Subject Status”:  In the middle of page 1, “Complaint Status History” shows progression from 7/15/10 evaluation, 7/16 to IRS, 10/27 back to TIGTA IAD, 11/24 start, 12/6 re-evaluation, then near the top of page 1, just below the “Status Date: 12-9-10” back to IRS again.  Administrative referral back to IRS contradicts ”Triangle Category: Employee Integrity” and “Subcategory: Complaints Processed” listed on form, which are apparently from the ”Performance Model”:  ”TIGTA’s Investigative Mission,” which confirms that case is a TIGTA and not an IRS matter.  On the TIGTA web page, click on the black diagram in the middle of the page to enlarge.
  • S3. Result“:  Shows “non-criminal” and “personal/business issue,” both of which are false. Also shows “referred to IRS for admin. action, and unbelievably, “no investigative potential.”
  • Complaint Information”:  Shows identical information to the one dated 7/16/10, other than the assignees.  At bottom of page is Complaint Narrative, again showing my allegation of GM/IRS collusion to harass and financially damage me, while at the same time referring back to IRS as a non-criminal personal/business tax issue in defiance of TIGTA’s responsibility for Section 1203 allegations.

In a document I received for the first time in the June 8 FOIA response, the “Complaint Referral Memorandum” dated 12/13/10 refers the case back to the IRS where it had been before Mr. Jaramillo properly redirected back it to TIGTA.  It should be noted that this Memorandum created by IAD Special Agent in Charge Bernard Williams is identical to the one created on 7/19/10 by Ms. Faltz-Heath, including the “No” box being falsely checked in box 6 in answer to the question, “”1203″ Violation Alleged”.  On page two of the 12/13 Memorandum is “block 21″ containing the Complaint Narrative stating my allegation of harassment, which totally discredits the “No 1203 violation alleged” statement.

As I had felt with Mr. Bennett in September, I believed that Mr. Pasquale was committed to doing a thorough investigation.  Also like Mr. Bennett, he was abruptly taken off the case immediately after talking to me.  It is unknown if Mr. Pasquale was in on the plan to deceive me into believing there would be an investigation, although his actions certainly made it appear that his plan to launch an investigation was genuine.  Among those indications were his request to have the GM “suspect” list ready on 12/6, his comments clearly indicating that his investigation would be of a criminal nature, and his ”thank you” e-mail on 12/8 indicating potential future contact.  These clues indicate to me that he was most likely surprised by his sudden removal from the case.  Whichever it was, it is clear that TIGTA steadfastly refused to conduct an investigation. 

The IRS, in its 2/28/11 closing without action, complied with TIGTA’s wishes to make the complaint go away quietly.  The following newly released documents dated 2/28/11 show false statements made by the IRS to justify closing without action:

  • Complaint Referral Memorandum“:  This closes out, without action, the 12/13/10 TIGTA referral with the 2/28/11 closing statement of IRS ECCO EIB Analyst Belinda Mattos.  At the bottom of the page, statements of “vague allegation” and “no employee misconduct alleged” falsely misrepresent my detailed allegations.  I provided as much, if not more, documented clues to collusion and people involved than is normally provided in crime cases.  It is TIGTA’s duty to determine who at the IRS directed the improper audits and 1040X process conduct.
  • EIU Report of Inquiry“:  In this 2/28/11 report, Belinda Mattos again states that the complaint was closed without action.  Statement of, “The taxpayer did not present any concrete incidents or allegations” is false, misrepresenting the reality similar to statements she made in 2/28/10 Complaint Referral Memorandum.  All statements trivializing what I experienced are offensive.  Adding to the suspicious nature of this action is the statement on the document, “The analyst who originally worked and closed this out is out on leave.”  ECCO received the case more than two months earlier, but waited until that analyst was on leave to issue the statements by Ms. Mattos who, based on the statement, did not work the case.  Furthermore, in my FOIA request, I received no documents, which obviously existed, completed by the original analyst, nor e-mails from Eric Saunders and Bernard Willams referred to in the EIU Report.

It is interesting that the above comments were made after Alonzo Bennett’s passionate apology and pledge to investigate what he has never seen in his 28 years with the IRS, Mark Jaramillo’s assessment that the source of the harassment came from above his pay grade, and Kris Pasquale’s implication of possible criminal prosecution.  It appears that in Ms. Mattos, TIGTA finally found somebody who would lie on command to close out the case.  As Ms. Mattos’ position is “HR Analyst,” it would appear that she is not in management, thus making this closing decision at the lowest level with no apparent concurrence by management.  Any reasonable person who read my complaint would presumably conclude that Ms. Mattos’s statements lacked any credibility whatsoever.

It defies belief that so many false statements could come from so many different TIGTA and IRS employees in what to me is clearly a conspired cover-up scheme.

Deceptive TIGTA letters to Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer

Compounding the egregious nature of TIGTA’s cover-up scheme is the content of the aforementioned letters that Deputy Inspector General Timothy Camus sent on April 27, 2011, to Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer.  Each letter contained the following statement:

“We have concluded our review of your constituent’s allegations and have determined they are unsubstantiated.  We found no evidence that IRS and GM officials conspired to harass Mr. Signer by auditing his tax returns.  The inquiry revealed that Mr. Signer’s tax returns were examined because of legitimate IRS business reasons.”

The letter’s deceptively worded statement clearly makes it appear that an investigation was conducted.  In reality, TIGTA file documents disclose the truth:

  • TIGTA “found no evidence” because I gave the agency all it needed to determine that there was a conspiracy.  The only thing left was to determine who at the IRS directed the audits and who at GM initiated them.   
  • The term “We have concluded our review of your constituent’s allegations…” thus apparently means, “We read his letter.”

There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Camus intended for Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer to interpret the statements in the letters to mean that an investigation had been conducted.  Consequently, the making of these deceptive statements in response to Congressional inquiries comes very close to, and may actually constitute, an act of lying to Congress.  As no investigation was conducted, TIGTA’s knowledge of GM/IRS collusion was no different than it was when it began its actions on July 16, 2010.  It thus seems that TIGTA delayed the letters to Congress an extensive time to add to the appearance that an investigation had been conducted.

It is noteworthy that Congressman Stark’s cover letter forwarding the aforementioned April 27 TIGTA letter states:

“I have taken the liberty of forwarding this letter to you.  I would assume you have received a similar letter from IRS containing their findings and informing you of their final determination.”

I had not ”received a similar letter from IRS” (or TIGTA.)  As mentioned earlier, I had received no communication from TIGTA since Special Agent Pasquale’s 12/8/10 e-mail.  At the point of Mr. Camus’s letters to Congressman Stark and Senator Boxer, I had received two packages of FOIA file documents, seemingly signalling to TIGTA that I would likely file appeal and ultimately receive the improperly withheld information that would reveal that TIGTA had not conducted an investigation.  That information would prove that the April 27 letters’ implication that an investigation had taken place was false. Furthermore, Mr. Camus’ claim of “legitimate IRS business reasons” for the audits would be very difficult to substantiate, as summarized in the following:

  • First audit – dealership corporation in 2005:  As discussed earlier on this website, the Revenue Agent sent an advance request of seventeen items to have ready for in-depth examination; a virtual witch-hunt that lacked any specific purpose.  Upon examination of the requested items, he found nothing wrong in any of them, thus disproving the TIGTA statement of “legitimate reason.”  The only tax change later made by the Agent was the deductibility of the consulting agreement, which I told him about during his interview on the first day of the audit in response to his (I believe staged) question about other corporations I owned.  As explained in detail earlier on this website, I have believed all along that the Agent knew about the consulting agreement, most likely through IRS personnel above him.  The knowledge had to have stemmed from General Motors.  So, the statement of “legitimate IRS business reasons” as it applies to this audit, could only mean that it was the consulting agreement that was the “legitimate” target of the audit from the beginning, knowledge of which came from GM, thus further supporting my observation of a conspiracy.  It should be noted that the disallowance of the consulting agreement deduction was questionable in itself, but I didn’t contest it because the disallowance created a more favorable personal bad debt deduction for me, as was even acknowledged by the IRS Revenue Agent.
  • Second audit – personal in 2007-2008:  The Revenue Agent was assigned my 2005 personal return for review of the bad debt deduction I took as a result of the audit done that year on the corporation.  The Agent wanted to “survey” the return, or accept it as filed.  In an override acknowledged as rare by the Agent, his Group Manager rejected this proper determination, and instead instructed the Agent to find a way to disallow it.  The Agent followed instructions, and created a reason to disallow it.  Despite my strong disagreement, I paid the tax.  I later filed a Form 1040X refund claim, which was ultimately allowed in October 2010.  While the IRS may have had some justification to consider the large bad debt deduction, there was no justification to disallow it.  The IRS’s ultimate refund of the tax proves that the deduction was legitimate from the beginning in 2005, and both the IRS’s 2008 initial disallowance and August 2010 Acting Manager override were not.

Certified letters alleging TIGTA cover-up sent to top TIGTA, Treasury officials and President Obama On July 5, 2011, I called Daphne Levitas, a TIGTA attorney named in the June 8 FOIA appeal response, to ask questions about remaining withheld file documents.  She replied that I would have to send a letter stating my questions.  I then sent the following series of letters, which are accessible through links provided:

  • July 8, 2011: I sent a letter to Ms. Levitas, with a copy to Deputy Inspector General Timothy Camus, requesting document information and describing my observation of TIGTA’s documented false statements to avoid investigation.  Mr. Camus was the author of the “found no evidence” April 27 letters to the Members of Congress.  In the letter I invited comment on my observations from both individuals, but neither responded to my letters or follow-up phone messages.  The letters may be viewed here.  Mysteriously the certified mail tracking showed the last event as “arrived at unit” in Washington, D. C., but no delivery.  I called the U. S. Postal Service repeatedly for tracking until the end of July, but no representative could find either the letter or delivery confirmation.  In fairness to Mr. Camus, I waited until August 5 before reporting the issues to Inspector General George, which I did on August 5.
  • August 5, 2011: On August 5 I e-mailed and mailed a letter to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, with a copy to Principal Deputy Joseph Hungate, inviting his comment before I pursued the case further.  In clear language, my letter alleged a TIGTA cover-up of GM/IRS collusion, and described TIGTA’s documented false statements and other suspicious occurrences.  This letter and certified mail delivery confirmations may be viewed hereTo expedite receipt of the letter, I also e-mailed a copy of the letter to TIGTA Communications Director Karen Kraushaar, whose e-mail address I found online, and asked her to forward it to Mr. George.  This e-mail, with electronic confirmation that she read it 18 minutes after I sent it, may be viewed here.  As an interesting side note, Ms. Kraushaar made national news three months later when she announced that she had filed a sexual harassment claim in the 1990′s against Republican primary candidate Herman Cain.  A report of this announcement may be viewed here.
  • August 9, 2011:  On August 9 I received an e-mail from Senior Advisor/Congressional Liasion Judy Grady acknowledging receipt of the August 5 e-mail, and stating that the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations [Mr. Camus] had the matter under review.  It should be noted that my letter was addressed to Mr. George, not Mr. Camus.  Ms. Grady’s e-mail may be viewed here.
  • August 22, 2011:  After receiving no response to my August 5 letter to Mr. George, on August 22 I sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informing him of the cover-up and lack of response to my July 8 and August 5 letters, copies of which I enclosed.  The letter and certified mail delivery confirmation may be viewed here.
  • August 31 and September 2, 2011:  On August 31, I delivered to staff member Jason Teramoto at Congressman Stark’s Fremont office copies of documents from the TIGTA FOIA files, and a letter I had written to inform the Congressman that TIGTA did not investigate my complaint as Mr. Camus’s April 27 letter to him had implied it had done, and that I had not received responses to multiple letters to TIGTA personnel and Treasury Secretary Geithner.  I also sought his advice on FBI investigation of the TIGTA cover-up.  After discussing the issue with Mr. Teramoto, I sent a second letter on September 2 requesting the Congressman’s assistance in obtaining responses to specific letters I had sent.  Congressman Stark forwarded my September 2 letter, which may be viewed here, to TIGTA.
  • September 2, 2011:  On September 2, after I had sent the aforementioned September 2 letter to Congressman Stark, I received a letter dated August 29 from Principal Deputy Inspector General Hungate responding to my August 5 letter to Inspector General George.  Mr. Hungate’s letter may be viewed here.  Mr. Hungate’s response will be discussed below.
  • September 9, 2011:  On September 9, I e-mailed and mailed a letter to Inspector General George expressing my outrage at the aforementioned Hungate August 29 letter.  I sent copies of the letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner, Congressman Stark, Senator Boxer, and President Obama.  My letter and e-mail to Mr. George, as well as certified mail and e-mail delivery confirmations, may be viewed here.  The e-mail delivery confirmation shows that Mr. George read it 33 minutes after I sent it.  Also on September 9 I sent an e-mail to Senator Boxer’s Constituent Representative Maria Henderson informing her that the TIGTA FOIA documents proved that TIGTA did not investigate my complaint as Mr. Camus’s deceptive April 27 letter to Senator Boxer implied.  The letter referred her to donsigner.com where the revealing TIGTA documents could be accessed.
  • September 10, 2011:  On September 10, I sent a letter to President Obama with a copy to Treasury Secretary Geithner informing them of TIGTA’s action, requesting that he take action to hold appropriate parties accountable.  The first sentence of my letter to President Obama states, “This is to advise you of what I believe to be a fraudulent cover-up committed by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) office regarding a complaint I filed in June 2010.”  The letter to President Obama, as well as certified mail delivery confirmation signed by White House staff member Asha Z. Davis, may be viewed here.  The letter to Mr. Geithner, , as well as certified mail delivery confirmation signed by D. Stewart, may be viewed here.  Considering my direct accusations of a TIGTA cover-up, there is no chance that either Mr. Obama or Mr. Geithner could not have understood of the seriousness of my allegations.
  • November 1, 2011:  I received a letter dated November 1 from Congressman Stark that contained a letter to him dated October 27 from Principal Deputy Inspector General Hungate.  Both letters may be viewed here.  Mr. Hungate’s letter, which responded to my September 2 letter, will be discussed below.  Regarding Mr. Stark’s letter, it essentially says there is nothing more he can do.  I had received a similar “nothing more the Senator can do” telephone response from Senator Boxer’s Constituent Representative Maria Henderson in response to my September 9 e-mail to her stating that TIGTA did not investigate as Mr. Camus had implied that it had.

As noted above, the only person who responded any of of the letters was Principal Deputy Inspector General Hungate.  The short August 29 letter from Mr. Hungate contains two paragraphs of evasive doubletalk with the same deceptive theme Mr. Camus had portrayed to the Members of Congress on April 27, 2011.  Mr. Hungate’s letter states in part, ”TIGTA’s Office of Investigations (OI) followed established complaint review procedures given the nature and content of your initial complaint…”  As stated earlier regarding the Camus letters, this statement means no more than the OI read my letter.   At another point, the letter refers to TIGTA’s action as an “inquiry.”  Since the Office of Investigations is not named “Office of Reviews” or “Office of Inquiries,” then the only action that would give any credibility to its repeated “found no evidence” statement would be an investigation; a term that Mr. Hungate carefully avoided.  TIGTA FOIA documents clearly state that no investigation was performed, and Mr. Hungate’s letter contained nothing to refute that fact.

Conspicuously absent from the letter is any denial of my allegations of TIGTA’s cover-up of the alleged GM/IRS conspiracy to harass and financially damage me.  As it would be expected that any person whose agency is falsely accused of such serious wrongdoing would promptly and vociferously deny the allegations, Mr. Hungate’s silence certainly implies that he agrees with my assessment.  It is also noteworthy that Treasury Inspector George, to whom my letter was addressed, did not respond, nor did Treasury Secretary Geithner.  The failure of any of the individuals to address my specific observations of TIGTA wrongdoing appears to remove any possible remaining doubt that my assessments are accurate.

Mr. Hungate’s October 27 letter to Congressman Stark contained the same evasive double talk as in earlier letters.  In addition, it contains a reference to the Section 1203 issue.  In my September 2 letter, I stated, “I request clarification from TIGTA on how it arrived at its non-1203 interpretation stated in two “Complaint Referral Memorandum” forms.”  Mr. Hungate responded to Mr. Stark saying, “In Mr. Signer’s letter of September 2, 2011, he stated that two of the documents he received as a result of his FOIA request classified his complaint of harassment by the IRS as a ‘non-1203 violation allegation.’  I want to assure you that the description of Mr. Signer’s complaint on these forms had no bearing on the outcome of our inquiry.”  As it would be impossible to defend TIGTA’s improper “non-1203” description, Mr. Hungate’s non-responsive statement effectively acknowledges the obvious – that the forms’ ”non-1203″ descriptions are wrong.  It then appears to be saying that even if they were correctly stated, it wouldn’t have made any difference in the outcome.  If that is what is meant, it cannot be correct, as TIGTA would be responsible to conduct an investigation, not a dead-end “inquiry,” of a 1203 violation.  Mr. Hungate’s statement even further solidifies my observation of TIGTA manipulation to avoid investigation.

Regarding Congressman Stark’s November 1 letter to me saying there was nothing more he could do, and Senator Boxer’s representative’s similar response, it is appalling that U. S. Members of Congress are not able to take action on a clearly fraudulent TIGTA cover-up of criminal GM/IRS conspired harassment.  It would seem more likely, however, that there are remedies available to them, but they chose not to use them as exposure of the serious wrongdoing would be politically damaging to fellow Democrat President Obama in light of the bailout and GM/Treasury partnership.  Assuming this observation is correct, all Americans should be frightened and outraged that their elected representatives might, for political reasons, condone such egregious abuse of their constituents.  While I appreciate Senator Boxer’s and (now former) Congressman Stark’s letters on my behalf, the fact that they took no action once I informed them of the cover-up makes them participants in it.

Closing thoughts

I was planning on wrapping up with a summary of the worst things about what I see as a cover-up scheme by TIGTA.  As I was listing them, I realized that all of what was done was bad in one way or another, with virtually everybody named (except two, and most likely three,) having a part in thwarting the investigation.  The conspired actions are truly appalling.

I would like to commend those two (or three) people who left a positive impression on me in contrast to the impression TIGTA has generated.  Two of these people are Alonzo Bennett and Mark Jaramillo, and the “possible” third is Kris Pasquale.  I realize that Mr. Bennett and Mr. Jaramillo are not TIGTA employees, but rather IRS employees that were drawn into the ordeal as a result of TIGTA’s misrepresenting of the complaint.  The two gentlemen represented the IRS well.

Mr. Bennett was genuinely concerned and seemingly embarrassed about what the IRS had done to me, and was very respectful in his interaction with me.  He vowed to do what he obviously considered to be the morally right thing by doing a thorough investigation, but he was removed after he expressed that commitment to people he reported to.  With regard to his comment about being with the IRS for 28 years and having never seen anything like this, that could be because the IRS doesn’t handle criminal harassment allegations.  He only received the case due to the cover-up scheme.

Mr. Jaramillo was equally professional and respectful, and quickly recognized that TIGTA had misdirected the investigation to the IRS, and as such, properly returned it to TIGTA.  What he did was probably not popular with TIGTA, as it appeared to have derailed its plan; but it was the right thing to do.  Sadly, TIGTA got it right back on track by whisking it back to the IRS for final burial after Mr. Pasquale had unwittingly caused me to believe that TIGTA was operating in good faith.

I consider Kris Pasquale is a probable third because I felt that he, like Mr. Bennett, genuinely intended to conduct a full investigation.  Also like Mr. Bennett, he was taken off the case immediately after I believed an investigation would be done.  In my few conversations with Mr. Pasquale, he seemed very professional and of high moral character.  After being removed, I would suspect that he quickly detected that TIGTA’s actions with my complaint were fraudulent, and he had been forced to unknowingly play a deceptive role with me.  I would guess that this fact was the basis for the irritation in his voice when he told me on February 3, 2011, that the case was “out of his hands.”  His suggestion that I request Freedom of Information documents could have been made in hopes that I would piece together the sham as I ultimately did.  It would also seem that my complaint would have been a major case, and feather in his cap, if he identified and prosecuted the perpetrator(s.)  Additionally, it would have been much easier to investigate than most cases since I had already researched and documented everything except determining the individuals who gave the direction.  Assuming my observations are correct, I express my regrets to Mr. Pasquale for how his superiors violated his dignity and integrity.

Why would so many people risk their careers with dishonest actions?

In considering TIGTA’s response (or lack thereof) to my complaint, a logical question arises as to why so many different people would seemingly risk their careers by committing dishonest acts in what appears to be a widespread cover-up conspiracy.  A consolidated list of involved IRS, TIGTA, FBI, and legislator personnel may be viewed here.  It is noteworthy that there were twenty-six TIGTA and IRS employees who were in some way involved with the TIGTA actions alone, not including Inspector General George or Treasury Secretary Geithner.

It appears that the genesis of the scheme was in the planning that seemingly occurred prior to the 7/16/10 documented complaint referral from TIGTA to the IRS, at which time mine was designated a “sensitive case.”  As seen in this TIGTA organizational chart, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus reports to the Inspector General for Tax Administration and his Principal Deputy.  Presumably, all other TIGTA employees involved in my ordeal are under Mr. Camus, whose deceptive letters to two Members of Congress make him a participant in the cover-up.  Several employees below him participated by way of avoiding TIGTA’s duty to investigate Section 1203 allegations, and supporting the avoidance with multiple false statements.

Since Mr. Camus is presumably accountable for all of his office’s actions, it is highly unlikely that he would risk his career by authorizing such a scheme, as he would have nothing to gain and potentially a lot to lose.  So, the direction and approval for the many improper actions seemingly came from above Mr. Camus.  The only TIGTA employees above him are Inspector General J. Russell George and Principal Deputy Joseph Hungate, both of whom would appear to have nothing to gain and much to lose by authorizing such actions.  The content of Mr. Hungate’s August 29, 2011 letter to me, bolstered by the absence of rebuttal to my TIGTA cover-up allegations, in my opinion make him another participant in the cover-up; and thus the highest ranking one documented to date.

As there is no apparent motive for Mr. George or Mr. Hungate to execute a cover-up, and the actions involved the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Legislative Affairs and at least one IRS employee, then the direction for the cover-up had to have come from above all three departments.  The only common management element of the three departments is the combination of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.  As discussed earlier in this narrative, the Treasury Department had a clear motive to squelch the GM/IRS collusion allegation due to the controversial TARP bailout, dealer termination plan, and need to have GM portrayed in a good light for President Obama’s reelection.  So, there is seemingly no other conclusion to draw than that direction to do so came from at least the top of the Treasury Department, and all of those involved were charged with the responsibility to get the job done using any means necessary.  Refusal to cooperate would seemingly be considered insubordination.  Regardless of who directed the cover-up, all top officials, including Inspector General George, Treasury Secretary Geithner, and President Obama were informed of the cover-up by my certified letters and given the opportunity to correct it – but they didn’t.  As all had the authority to correct it, all are accountable.

Conclusion

All indications are that TIGTA willfully avoided addressing my complaint of collusion between GM and the IRS, and led me on for nearly a year causing me to believe something was being done until the June 8 documents revealed the truth.  If there had been nothing to hide, TIGTA would have conducted a proper investigation as it is charged with doing.  Instead, it used gamesmanship and false statements to seemingly avoid exposing what I am certain actually happened.  As such, this cover-up causes me to consider my allegations of a GM/IRS conspiracy to be confirmed by TIGTA’s actions.  I believe that the only unknown remains the identity of the individuals at the IRS and GM who ordered that no investigation be conducted.

I have noted before that GM’s 2009 Treasury Department-supported confiscation of dealers’ franchises in many cases like mine destroyed everything he or she had ever worked for.  One would not think that these actions could occur even in a corrupt third world country, let alone in the United States of America.  It would seem, however, that as the Treasury Department’s moral authority, TIGTA would have provided a safety net that would hold IRS and GM employees accountable for at least their apparent conspired damage to me.  As it is now known, that did not occur.

Near the end of the cover letter to my June 21, 2010 complaint, I describe the arrogant GM and GMAC corporate cultures that appeared to drive the inept and evil actions imposed on me over the years by countless employees.  I went on to say that I hoped that TIGTA’s investigation would reveal that the actions I had endured could be traced to a rogue IRS employee or two, and were not reflective of IRS policy.  Now that the document files reveal what appears to be widespread wrongdoing within the Treasury Department, it astoundingly appears that it is an accepted part of the culture.

When then candidate Obama ran for President in 2008, he promised voters that his administration would be totally transparent.  I must admit that this TIGTA cover-up could not be more transparent once one understands TIGTA’s investigative responsibilities and puts the pieces of the puzzle together.  If it weren’t so corruptly and criminally pathetic, the sloppiness in revealing the clues would be comical.  It took me three attempts at getting the FOIA documents, and even those are largely redacted, and a large quantity of documents continue to be hidden from me.  It defies belief that a complaint that was not investigated could possibly have so many people involved, take so many months, and generate so much documentation, much of it remaining hidden to this day.

It defies belief that so many people outside GM have now been drawn into jeopardizing their careers for their parts in covering up the collusion, which itself already exposed certain GM and IRS officials to the same fate.  All of that because GM refused to agree to fairly compensate me for damages when I attempted to settle in 2006 and 2007, which would have also ethically given GM my franchises it desired.  Had GM done that, it wouldn’t have needed the second IRS audit, I wouldn’t have filed a complaint, and many Treasury Department employees wouldn’t have been drawn into committing dishonest acts that may result in devastating consequences.

On September 1, 2011, I reported my allegation of the TIGTA cover-up to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI,) which is described at “(2011) Signer Reports TIGTA Action to FBI.”