Convicted Tax Evader Wins $13,000 Award Against IRS Harassment
MIAMI (AP) _ A convicted tax evader has been awarded $13,000 from the Internal Revenue Service after a federal judge ruled one of its agents harassed the man.
″This victory will benefit and protect all taxpayers,″ said plaintiff Daniel Neal Heller of Miami.
Heller had been convicted on charges of evading income taxes on $250,000 in fees from clients. A 1983 conviction was thrown out after a juror reportedly made racist remarks, but Heller was convicted again in September.
In his 10-page opinion Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings wrote that IRS agent Lawrence S. Plave, who investigated the original case, had told Heller’s clients and others that he would be indicted, even though a grand jury had not yet been empaneled.
The judge ruled the action of Plave, who has since left the IRS, showed a ″lack of integrity.″
Plave said he was disappointed, adding that Hastings ″didn’t get to the truth of the matter.″