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Former Contractor Who Leaked Trump’s Tax Returns Sentenced to five Years in Prison

Former Contractor Who Leaked Trump’s Tax Returns Sentenced to five Years in Prison


A former Internal Revenue Service contractor accused of leaking the tax paperwork of Donald J. Trump and different rich Americans was sentenced on Monday to 5 years in jail.

The former contractor, Charles Littlejohn, generally known as Chaz, labored for the tax company from 2017 to 2021, when he stole the tax data of 1000’s of the nation’s wealthiest individuals, together with Mr. Trump, prosecutors mentioned. Mr. Littlejohn then offered the data to The New York Times and ProPublica.

Prosecutors mentioned his actions “seem like unparalleled within the I.R.S.’s historical past.”

Mr. Littlejohn, 38, pleaded guilty late final 12 months to 1 depend of the unauthorized disclosure of tax return info. In addition to 5 years in jail, which is among the largest sentences in a federal leak investigation, Mr. Littlejohn was additionally sentenced to a few years of supervised launch, 300 hours of neighborhood service and a $5,000 high-quality.

“Today’s sentence sends a powerful message that those that violate legal guidelines meant to guard delicate tax info will face vital punishment,” Nicole M. Argentieri, the performing assistant legal professional normal who oversees the Justice Department’s legal division, mentioned in a press release. Prosecutors mentioned the hurt from Mr. Littlejohn’s disclosures had been “so in depth and ongoing that it’s unattainable to quantify.”

A spokesman for Mr. Trump didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Trump refused to disclose his tax returns, the primary president to take action because the Nineteen Seventies. The paperwork, thought of essential to understanding his wealth and enterprise practices, drew a lot public curiosity that the I.R.S. commissioner on the time ordered that Mr. Trump’s filings be secured in a particular vault.

Mr. Littlejohn, who had additionally labored as a contractor for the I.R.S. between 2008 and 2013, sought work there once more in 2017 with the aim of stealing Mr. Trump’s tax data, prosecutors mentioned. During that point, prosecutors mentioned, Mr. Littlejohn “weaponized his entry to unmasked taxpayer knowledge to additional his personal private, political agenda, believing that he was above the regulation.”

In 2020, citing Mr. Trump’s tax paperwork, The Times reported that the previous president paid simply $750 in federal revenue taxes in 2016, the 12 months he was elected president and that he had not paid any revenue taxes in 10 of the earlier 15 years. In 2021, ProPublica printed particulars about how the 25 wealthiest Americans, together with Jeff Bezos, Michael R. Bloomberg, Elon Musk and paid comparatively little in federal revenue taxes. The disclosures revived Democrats’ calls for imposing a wealth tax.

Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican who was additionally included in ProPublica’s reporting, mentioned in a letter to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland final week that he was among the many “1000’s of American taxpayers” subjected to “partisan abuse” by Mr. Littlejohn.

A lawyer for Mr. Littlejohn, Lisa Manning, mentioned her consumer didn’t disclose the tax paperwork to profit himself.

“He dedicated this offense out of a deep, ethical perception that the American individuals had a proper to know the data and sharing it was the one strategy to impact change,” Ms. Manning wrote in a sentencing memo.

The disclosures fueled longtime accusations that the tax company acts with political motivation, one thing company officers have rebutted. In late 2022, House Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee released six years of Mr. Trump’s tax returns after a yearslong authorized battle.

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