A former contractor for the Internal Revenue Service was charged Friday with leaking tax information to news outlets about a government official and thousands of the country’s wealthiest people.
Charles Edward Littlejohn, 38, of Washington, D.C., is accused of stealing the tax return information and giving it to two different news outlets between 2018 and 2020, the Justice Department said in a statement. Littlejohn declined to comment. The Associated Press also reached out to his attorney.
Both organizations, which are not named in charging documents, published numerous articles describing the tax information, charging documents state. Some of the information dated back more than 15 years.
Littlejohn is charged with one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
The IRS declined to comment specifically on the case, but Commissioner Danny Werfel said “any disclosure of taxpayer information is unacceptable” and the agency has since tightened security.
Associated Press writer Fatima Hussein contributed to this story.
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