A contractor with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been charged with stealing the tax returns of a high-ranking government official, who is suspected to be former President Donald Trump, according to federal prosecutors. The contractor, Charles Edward Littlejohn, worked with the IRS from 2018 to 2020 and allegedly stole and disclosed tax returns and return information associated with the official to a news organization. Littlejohn is also accused of stealing IRS information on thousands of wealthy individuals, dating back more than 15 years, and sending it to another unnamed news organization. Both news organizations published articles based on the tax information obtained from Littlejohn. If convicted, Littlejohn faces up to five years in prison.
In addition to stealing the former President’s tax documents, Littlejohn allegedly stole and disclosed tax information of thousands of wealthy individuals. The stolen information dated back more than 15 years. The tax information was sent to two separate news organizations, although neither of them is named in court documents and they have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The New York Times and ProPublica published articles based on the tax records of the former president and other wealthy Americans around the same timeframe as the thefts. Court documents reveal that both news organizations published numerous articles describing the tax information provided by the defendant.
Littlejohn, charged with unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information, may face up to five years in prison if found guilty. Currently, there has been no comment from Littlejohn’s lawyer. ProPublica, one of the news organizations involved, stated that they are unaware of the identity of the source that provided the tax information. The spokesperson for ProPublica also mentioned that the information disclosed pertained to the taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans. CNN has reached out to The New York Times and President Trump for their comments on the matter. The investigation is ongoing, and updates are expected to follow.