March 29, 2007

Gonzales Appointee Botches $100 Million Tax Fraud Case, Keeps Job

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 6:04 pm, March 29, 2007The U.S. Attorney Scandal has struck a new victim: the American taxpayer. A judge ruled Wednesday that an epic blunder by federal prosecutors in the largest tax prosecution ever means that the treasury can’t recoup at least $100 million in restitution.

Telecommunications entrepreneur Walter Anderson pled guilty to tax evasion, but U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the binding plea agreement listed the wrong statute. This problem could have been overcome had prosecutors not failed to include any discussion of probation as is routine in such deals.

Because of the technicality, Judge Friedman said, “I’ve come to the conclusion, very reluctantly, that I have no authority to order restitution. . . . This is a very poorly drafted agreement.”

The case was prosecuted by the office of the interim U.S. Attorney for D.C., Jeffrey A. Taylor. Taylor was appointed directly by Attorney General Gonzales without Senate confirmation in November 2006 under a provision of the Patriot Act that Congress has recently voted to reverse.

Sure enough, Taylor came straight from the Bush Administration. He served as Counselor to Attorney Generals John Ashcroft and Gonzales for four years prior to his selection. Before that he worked as an aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch, where he actually participated in the writing of the Patriot Act.

Jeffrey Taylor has also given hundreds of dollars to the Republican National Committee and to George W. Bush.

As the acting U.S. attorney for D.C., Taylor has the sole authority to enforce House or Senate subpoenas through citations for contempt of Congress. Even if Taylor actually chooses to prosecute an administration official for refusing to testify – which is highly unlikely – could we trust him not to screw it up?

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