I spent a very productive day today with IRS Whistleblower Office Director Steve Whitlock, former IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson, IRS Special Counsel Tom Kane, and other senior IRS officials working with the IRS Whistleblower Office, in helping stage the most comprehensive legal education program yet about the new IRS Whistleblower Program–the “IRS Whistleblower Boot Camp.” The day-long event was sponsored by Taxpayers Against Fraud.
After sessions on various aspects of how the tax whistleblower program operates, I was honored to lead the panel discussion with Director Whitlock and others on some difficult and complex issues in representing whistleblowers. We discussed in depth claims by whistleblowers such as CPAs, lawyers, and fiduciaries who have had confidential relationships with the taxpayers in question; and claims by whistleblowers who were involved in misconduct. Joining our panel discussion were Special Counsel Tom Kane of the Office of Chief Counsel, and my friend and fellow whistleblower attorney Paul D. Scott of San Francisco.
Director Whitlock explained how the claims submitted to the two year-old IRS Whistleblower Office have grown from approximately 80 in the first year, to approximately 2000 at present.
The IRS officials reviewed offshore tax schemes, tax fraud and tax evasion, and many other types of tax noncompliance as potential bases of IRS Whistleblower claims.
The IRS Whistleblower Boot Camp began with “IRS Whistleblower Office 101,” a panel discussion introducing the applicable regulations, providing an overview of the IRS Whistleblower Office, and providing an update on the progress of the program. It was moderated by TAF Member Margaret Finerty, and included as panelists Director Steve Whitlock, and IRS Whistleblower Office Analysts Robert Gardner, Dawn Applebaum, and Al Gibson. (Dawn Applebam had joined me last week in Atlanta to make an excellent presentation on the IRS Whistleblower Program at the annual “Whistleblower Law Symposium” that our firm sponsors.)
The main domestic and international tax fraud schemes, and the types of cases the IRS Whistleblower Office would like to receive, were the subject of a discussion by former IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson. The panelists were IRS “Subject Matter Experts” Larry Brongel (Large and Mid-sized Business Division (LMSB), Retailers, Food, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Industry); Sheila Olander (Sr. Analyst Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, Office of Financial Crimes); Elizabeth Elfrey (Director, Fraud/Bank Secrecy Act in the IRS Small Business/Self Employed (SBSE)); and Al Gibson (Whistleblower Office Analyst).
TAF member Frederick Morgan, and attorney and CPA Ralph Minto, then discussed expanding a False Claims Act practice to include IRS Whistleblower cases.
TAF President Neil Getnick led a panel discussion on issue-spotting and practice pointers when bringing IRS Whistleblower cases. The panelists were Director Steve Whitlock, Special Counsel Tom Kane, and TAF Member and fellow whistleblower attorney Brian Kenney.
I was honored to participate in planning the program, and to lead a session on perhaps the most complex and difficult issues in representing IRS whistleblowers.
Our firm’s former federal prosecutors at Finch McCranie, LLP have represented whistleblowers in the new IRS Whistleblower Program since it began in 2006.
You may contact us toll-free at 800-228-9159, or by email by clicking HERE. There is no charge or fee for speaking with us about a potential IRS Whistleblower case or qui tam whistleblower case under the False Claims Act.