Attorney-at-Law

A. NONYMOUS, SERIAL BLOWER

In Uncategorized on 06/28/2017 at 16:16

Though Judge James S. (“Big Jim”) Halpern hides this whistleblower’s name for thirty days so s/he can take an interlocutory appeal from this order, s/he’d better move fast, or Judge Big Jim will spill the clichés all over the lot.

Here’s 148 T. C. 25, filed 6/28/17, the story of presently anonymous Whistleblower 14377-16W (hereinafter “716 Whiskey”). And the interlocutory appeal from unveiling caselaw is found at 148 T. C. 25, at p. 3, footnote 2.

716 Whiskey is a registered investment adviser. When not working with spouse in spouse’s registered investment advisory business, 716 Whiskey overhauls EDGAR for corporate skullduggery, and has 11 cases before Tax Court petitioning the Ogden Sunseteers’ shoot-downs of his/her blows.

Judge Big Jim is a wee bit skeptical of 716 Whiskey and others of his/her ilk. It came out in a phone-a-thon that “(T)he 11 cases involve in excess of two dozen taxpayers, and all appear to have resulted not from petitioner’s employment by, or other close relationship to, the target taxpayer but from his examination of publicly available materials, such as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Forms 10-K.  We informed petitioner that the public has an interest in knowing the identity of persons using the courts, and that, in deciding motions to proceed anonymously, the Court must resolve the competing societal interests at stake.” 148 T. C. 25, at p. 4. (Emphasis by the Court).

So Judge Big Jim asks 716 Whiskey to dish why he’s afeart of going public. But neither life nor limb is at stake, unlike some other blowers catalogued by Judge Big Jim and whose stories I have blogged. 716 Whiskey neither works for nor has any relationship with the blown, can’t identify any clients of self or spouse who might walk away, or political figures who might retaliate against 716 Whiskey or spouse. 716 Whiskey gave up a CPA license and keeps only the Series 65 wherewith to advise.

Nevertheless, Judge Big Jim might be willing to give 716 Whiskey the benefit of the doubt.

Except.

716 Whiskey seems to be a Serial Blower.

“He has so far brought 11 whistleblower cases in the Tax Court.  He has in his supporting papers identified 21 numbered whistleblower claims (whistleblower claims with a separate processing number assigned by the IRS), and he has in those papers identified by name 26 taxpayers and included by reference (without naming them) 24 more.  He also has pending before respondent four ‘submissions’ (involving, it appears, six numbered whistleblower claims and six taxpayers).  He also admits that he has before respondent 51 numbered claims supplemental to claims in cases already before the Court.  Each of those as-yet-unresolved supplemental claims is potentially the source of another adverse determination and a resulting petition to the Court.  Petitioner’s recourse to publicly available materials to identify supposed tax abuses imposes no natural limit other than his own industriousness on the number of cases he could bring.  His lack of an employment or other close relationship to the taxpayers he identifies suggests that he has no familiarity with a taxpayer’s basis or rationale for taking what petitioner considers an abusive position.  For those reasons, serial claimants of whistleblower awards may disproportionately burden the Court with petitions only superficially meritorious.” 148 T. C. 25, at pp. 13-14. (Footnotes omitted).

The public has a right to know who’s flooding the zone.

Judge Big Jim is also aware that when a Swiss swindler hit a $104 million jackpot whistling from the slammer, a “cottage industry” sprang up.

“Apparently, a cottage industry has sprung up involving mining publicly available documents for the chance to claim a bounty from the IRS. Unless we identify serial filers by name, the public will be unable to judge accurately the extent to which the serial filer phenomenon has affected the work of the Tax Court because the public would not know whether any particular petitioner of an adverse whistleblower determination had filed petitions appealing other adverse whistleblower determinations.” 148 T. C. 25, at p. 15. (footnote omitted).

Now I’m prepared to wager a few bobs that the public couldn’t care less. But I’ll bet the Ogden Sunseteers and the battalion of letter-writers appurtenant thereto, and Tax Court Judges who have to deal with this, care a lot.

And there is no Section 6673 chop for bringing Section 7623s, even if public info is grounds for an immediate toss. Anyway, 716 Whiskey admits all this info is public.

Blowers get special handling if anonymous. “for example, the record is sealed temporarily, the normal procedures for electronic filing and electronic service cannot at this time be used, the case must be assigned to a judicial officer earlier than normal in order to address the motion, and, in some cases, trials and hearing may need to be closed to the public to protect the whistleblower’s anonymity.  The public may wish to know the extent to which petitioners with numerous whistleblower claims require such special handling.” 148 T. C. 25, at pp. 15-16. (Footnote omitted). See my comment supra, as my high-priced colleagues say, concerning public interest.

So if you want to go for the boodle, blower, be prepared to get your name in the papers and in the blogosphere. Along with everybody else who shows up in Tax Court, even those who are shy.

Now lest anyone suppose I’m anti-blower, read my blogposts about the cases Judge Big Jim cites. And remember Harry M. (“The Mark”) Markopolos, who blew the doors on Bernie Madoff years before the SEC awoke to the massive swindle. Harry The Mark was systematically ignored and belittled as a nut, until long after the stable door was unbolted and Bernie Madoff made off with a cavalry division.

But this looks like those prisoner EITCs. See my blogpost “Oversoon,” 4/26/17. So it takes a full-dress T. C. to take them down.

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