Shreveport attorney sues U.S. government over IRS investigation
December 29, 2007 By Melody Brumble mbrumble-at-gannett.com
A Shreveport attorney has sued the federal government over an Internal Revenue Service investigation of his business dealings.
Tommy Cryer alleges that four IRS criminal investigation division employees tried to destroy his reputation during the course of the investigation. His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Shreveport, claims that IRS agents Jimmy H. Sandefur, Darrin A. Heusel and Judge Armand and agent trainee Patrick Potter "entered into a smear and fear campaign to destroy Plaintiff's good reputation and law practice."
The lawsuit also alleges that the four IRS employees violated federal laws forbidding the disclosure of tax information, disclosures about an investigation and disclosure of a grand jury investigation. Cryer's suit contends that the agents discussed those issues in phone calls, letters and personal visits while interviewing Cryer's clients during the investigation.
Cryer is seeking at least $1,000 in damages for each time an agent disclosed the information, according to the lawsuit.
He also has filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. Attorney's Office, asking that those officials investigate the agents' actions.
Neither the IRS nor U.S. Attorney Donald Washington returned calls seeking comment Friday.
In July, a jury acquitted Cryer of two federal misdemeanor charges that he failed to file tax returns. Two felony counts of tax evasion were dropped before the trial on the misdemeanor charges started. Those charges alleged that Cryer avoided income taxes by putting income into a trust he created in 1993. The charges alleged that Cryer failed to file income tax returns for the trust.
Cryer has contended for at least a decade that federal law doesn't tax personal earnings. He said he stopped filing returns 10 years ago.