As the Internal Revenue Service finds itself embroiled in a scandal involving targeting “tea-party”, “patriot” groups, a lawsuit has been filed alleging the improper seizure of up to 60,000,000 medical records of over 10,000,000 Americans .
“John Doe Company sued 15 John Doe IRS agents in Superior Court. “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) agents (collectively referred to as ‘defendants’ herein) during a raid of John Doe Company, in the Southern District of California, on March 11, 2011,” the complaint states. “In a case involving solely a tax matter involving a former employee of the company, these agents stole more than 60,000,000 medical records of more than 10,000,000 Americans, including at least 1,000,000 Californians.”
The complaint goes on to say that warrants and subpoenas were never sought for the records. IRS agents are accused of ignoring warnings from company executives, ignoring their own published rule books, and the limitations of the warrant. The IRS agents are also accused of threatening ” to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over.”
The warrant issued in the case dealt specifically with seizure of financial records of a former employee, not health and medical records of any employee. Despite this, cell phones and all data contained with were also seized. The medical records contain everything from psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual or drug treatment, and a whole host of other medical matters.
The IRS has declined to name the 14 agents involved so far and decline to comment on the situation.
This latest incident comes after the news broke that the agency has been harassing so called Patriot groups who attempted to obtain non-profit status by singling their applications out for extra examination. Acting commissioner Steve Miller has issued a letter of resignation in response to the developing situation.
As I reported on last month, the IRS has also been called out for a 2009 handbookin which the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of General Counsel reiterated the policy.” The American Civil Liberties Union discovered the documents from a Freedom of Information Act Request.
After a string of controversies many Americans are left wondering whether they can trust the Internal Revenue Service with the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.