WASHINGTON—Billionaire hedge-fund manager
On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service sued and the Treasury Department sought damages. disclosure of his tax records.
The news organization ProPublica published tax data on wealthy individuals such as Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos starting June 2021. This was an unusual breach of confidentiality regarding tax returns. In April and July 2018, articles were published that mentioned Mr. Griffin, using tax records information.
The IRS inspector general, and the Justice Department are investigating the disclosuresOfficials say they take the matter seriously and have released no reports. So far, they have released no reports and haven’t charged anyone with a crime.
Citadel founder and chief executive Officer, Mr. Griffin filed the lawsuit in federal court in Florida’s Southern District of Florida. His lawsuit uses a section in the tax code that permits taxpayers to sue the government for knowingly or negligently disclosing their information by federal officers or employees. The law allows taxpayers to get at least $1,000 per disclosure and attorneys’ fees, and they can seek punitive damages if there was a willful disclosure or gross negligence.
The exact path by which the tax data reached ProPublica isn’t publicly known. A long list of reports from inspector generals dating back over a decade pointing out various gaps and flaws in IRS data security are cited in the lawsuit.
“The IRS made these unlawful disclosures knowingly, or at the very least negligently or with gross negligence,” the lawsuit says. “The IRS willfully failed to establish appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to insure the security and confidentiality of Mr. Griffin’s confidential taxpayer information.”
The IRS and Treasury didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The IRS typically doesn’t comment on active litigation or individual taxpayers.
Republican lawmakers have been pressing the IRS, Treasury Department for more details about the disclosures. This included tax return data from wealthy persons such as Messrs. Musk or Bezos. They will take control of the House of Representatives in January. plan further investigationsThis is the subject.
Representatives for Messrs. Musk and Bezos didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Griffin is a prominent Republican donor. According to his firm’s website, Griffin had $59 Billion in investment capital as at Nov. 1. His net worth is $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He ranks 41st worldwide.
A ProPublica article in April said Mr. Griffin reported an average income of $1.7 billion from 2013 through 2018—the fourth-highest on their list of what they said was the U.S.’s top 400 income earners. According to the article, he was subject to a higher tax rate that many other wealthy individuals.
“IRS employees deliberately stole the confidential tax returns of several hundred successful American business leaders,” Mr. Griffin said in a statement. “It is unacceptable that government officials have failed to thoroughly investigate this unlawful theft of confidential and personal information.”
Richard Rubin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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