RedNationRising brought this scandal forward on May 19, 2013 here:
IRS scandals continue to mount. Upon learning of legal action filed against the IRS in the Conservative portion California, we expanded our research and obtained a copy of the civil Complaint filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for San Diego against 15 unnamed IRS agents (IRS refused to identify them). The suit alleges that 15 IRS agents seized approximately 60 million medical records in March 2011. In addition to the medical records, personal mobile phones and all data contained thereon, were also seized, yet not included in the search warrant.
According to the Complaint, the Plaintiffs allege citizens across the US, including many of the CA Superior Court’s Judges, their family, clerks, court employees as well as members of the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America and Major League Baseball players are among the 10 million victims, or approximately 1 out of every 25 adult American citizens. These medical records contain information about psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual or drug treatment, and a wide range of medical matters covering the most intimate and private of concerns.
Civil Complaint Calls out Corruption and Abuse of Power Within the IRS, Points to Agents
Plaintiff’s Complaint avows: “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents…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.” (emphasis added) The Complaint goes on to state: “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search.”
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791, provides: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Fourth Amendment Violations
IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building, the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of that these medical records were privileged. The IRS agents ignored these warnings, their own published and public-reliant rules and governing ethical requirements (say it isn’t so of this agency, AGAIN), and limitations of the court’s search warrant authorization, seizing the records under threat of destroying company property. In fact, the agents threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if the Company’s IT personnel did not voluntarily provide them.
IRS Agents Refused to Return Records
The Complaint goes on to allege the IRS agents failed and refused to return the seized medical records even after receiving notice they were illicitly seized. Rather, they continue to retain the records, have illegally searched them and have no protection in place to control access and dissemination of the information.
IRS Agents Demonstrate Arrogance
The Plaintiffs state the IRS Agents didn’t even attempt to maintain the illusion the search and seizure were legitimate and legal. In fact, after the medical records were seized, the IRS agents had pizza and Coke delivered and settled in to watch the NCAA basketball tournament on the Company’s media system.
Scandal-Ridden IRS Special Agent Involved
Plaintiffs allege that one of the special agents involved in the matter has a known and legally documented history of misconduct, ethical breaches, and criminal activity, including, among other things:
• making false statements to a grand jury;
• making false statements to prospective witnesses in his investigations;
• misleading prospective witnesses about their rights in his investigations;
• obstructing independent investigations into his conduct or the matter at hand;
• disclosing without authorization grand jury secret material in violation and contempt of federal court orders;
• invading and abusing search warrants and subpoenas for privileged information, including patient privileged information, attorney-client privileged records, and marital privileged information.
So I must ask, why is this IRS Special Agent still a federal employee rather than occupying a prison cell? What, if any, connections are there to the Obama Administration? Did this Agent contribute to Obama’s 2008 and/or 2012 campaigns?
Complainants are seeking $25,000 in compensatory damages “per violation per individual,” plus punitive damages for constitutional violations. Maybe the court could ask the IRS’s Official who apologized for targeting conservatives Lois Lerner, to apologize for this scandal and calculate the damages. Oh wait, the Huffington Post reported May 11, 2013 that Ms. Lerner, when asked by NBC News’ Tom Costello: “So, a quarter of the 300, we are talking about 75 or so [groups that were targeted]?” responded “Um, is that a quarter?” and then admitted: “I’m not good at math!”
Will HHS Investigate IRS?
Clearly I’ve posed a rhetorical question. According to its website, the Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) is responsible to protect our fundamental rights of nondiscrimination and health information privacy. The Privacy Rule protects the privacy of health information; it says who can view and receive it and also the specific rights individuals have over that own information. One of the ways OCR claims to protect patients’ rights is to teach health and social service workers about civil rights, health information privacy, and patient safety confidentiality laws that they must follow. They would be wise to use agency funding to teach employees at the IRS!
Did the IRS knowingly seize these health care records? Why hasn’t a criminal action been brought? Will this seizure be blamed on “low level employees”? Although there was a valid search warrant to investigate a former employee over a “tax issue”, was the search warrant intentionally used to gather incriminating and embarrassing information on individuals that opposed the Obama Administration? What, if any, cases are on the court’s dockets, to be heard by judges victimized by this seizure, and how could their decisions be impacted if their medical records were used against them? Given California’s desire for widespread gun confiscation, will the government use the illegally-obtained records to revoke firearms permits and seize firearms from law-abiding citizens? Was this a “test case’ to see how far the IRS could exceed legal powers without challenge? Demand the truth. Demand accountability. We are a Red Nation Rising.