Federal prosecutors have charged an IRS contractor, Charles Littlejohn, 38, of Washington D.C., for unlawfully obtaining and disseminating the tax details of a high-ranking public official (Public Official A) and numerous affluent Americans to media outlets (News Organization 1). Mr. Littlejohn worked for the agency from 2018 to 2020.
A reliable source informed CNN that the unnamed official referenced in legal documents is former President Donald Trump.
Beyond stealing the former President’s tax information, Littlejohn is also accused of pilfering IRS data on thousands of high-earning individuals, including tax returns and related material going back over 15 years.
This information was subsequently sent to another news outlet, referred to as News Organization 2.
In 2019, it was reported that previously undisclosed tax documents pertaining to former President Trump had been released to the media.
It has since been confirmed that ProPublica obtained these documents via New York’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Subsequently, both ProPublica and The New York Times published articles concerning the president’s taxes as well as those of other affluent individuals.
ProPublica conducted an examination of tax documents pertaining to four of President Trump’s properties in New York and identified discrepancies concerning 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.
The data revealed that his businesses seemed more lucrative for lenders than what was reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and taxation officials, which is a common practice, but certain experts have deemed it as indicative of fraudulent behavior.
According to documents obtained by ProPublica, there were discrepancies between the profits and occupancy percentages reported to a lender for two of President Trump’s Manhattan buildings compared to those reported to tax officials.
Specifically, his 2017 tax document for 40 Wall Street indicated that his company spent $744,521 on annual property insurance, whereas loan documents reported only $457,414 being spent on property insurance in the same year.
Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.
Trump informed the lender that he had earned twice as much rent from one building in 2017 compared to what he reported to tax authorities.
Additionally, he presented conflicting occupancy figures for his iconic 40 Wall Street skyscraper. Having a high occupancy rate is often seen as an indication of “leasing momentum” by lenders.
Trump stated that on December 31st 2012, 40 Wall Street was 58.9% leased and rose to 95% some years later; however, the company reported to tax officials that the building was 81% rented on January 5th 2013.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Trevor Nelson of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) have announced that Littlejohn has been charged with one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information.
Should he be convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison.