IRS Contractor Sentenced for Unauthorized Tax Disclosure

IRS Contractor Sentenced for Unauthorized Tax Disclosure

Santiago Mendoza
2 min read

Former IRS Contractor Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Unauthorized Tax Return Disclosure

A former IRS contractor, Charles Edward Littlejohn, has been sentenced to five years in prison for the unauthorized disclosure of thousands of tax returns, including those of high-profile individuals such as Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Michael Bloomberg. This incident has raised concerns about the vulnerability of taxpayer information and the repercussions of data breaches. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is taking immediate steps to notify affected taxpayers and enhance its internal systems to mitigate risks.

Key Takeaways

  • Charles Edward Littlejohn, an IRS contractor, admitted guilt to unauthorized disclosure of tax return information, violating tax code section 7213(a)(1).
  • Littlejohn disclosed tax returns of prominent figures without proper authorization, leading to significant concerns about privacy and security.
  • The IRS is proactively informing more affected taxpayers through Letter 6613-A, IRC 7431(e) Notification Letter.
  • Immediate measures have been implemented by the IRS to fortify its internal systems, including stricter user access controls, improved firewalls, and enhanced monitoring.
  • Ongoing investigations show no evidence of further dissemination of the disclosed information or its use for identity theft or fraud.
  • The IRS is urging taxpayers to monitor their IRS transcripts for any unusual activity and educate themselves about identity theft resources.


The sentencing of Charles Edward Littlejohn sheds light on the susceptibility of taxpayer information and the repercussions of unauthorized disclosures. Not only does this incident impact high-profile individuals, but it also erodes public trust in the IRS. While the IRS is taking prompt actions to address the immediate aftermath, the long-term implications might involve stricter regulations for contractors handling sensitive data and a potential loss of confidence in the IRS. The broader ramifications extend to the US government, financial institutions, and taxpayers, emphasizing the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures across all organizations dealing with sensitive data.

Did You Know?

  • IRS (Internal Revenue Service) contractor: Describes an individual or entity hired by the IRS to perform services on its behalf, as exemplified by Charles Edward Littlejohn in this case.
  • Unauthorized disclosure of tax return information (tax code section 7213(a)(1)): Signifies the illicit release of tax return information to unauthorized entities or individuals, carrying severe legal consequences as evidenced by Charles Edward Littlejohn's case.
  • Letter 6613-A, IRC 7431(e) Notification Letter: Issued by the IRS to inform taxpayers of unauthorized disclosure of their tax information, providing them with resources to safeguard against identity theft and fraudulent activities.

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