Thursday, January 12, 2012

Another Taxpayer Victory on Required Records Subpoena for Offshore Bank Documents (1/12/12)

In In re Special February 2011-1 Grand Jury Subpoena Dated..., --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2011 WL 6973429  (ND Ill 2011),  the Court quashed a grand jury subpoena for foreign bank account records, holding that the Fifth Amendment privilege (the act of production iteration of the privilege) trumps the required records doctrine.

I won't try to analyze the opinion, because I don't think it necessarily adds critical analysis that has not been considered before.  I will say that it strikes me that this is an issue that can go either way, depending upon the predilections of the court considering the matter.  In terms of numbers (judges weighing in on the issue), the Government is ahead.  And, in terms of appellate victories (one with no dissents from the liberal 9th Circuit), the Government is ahead.  I am not so bold as to predict the ultimate resolution after these cases bounce around for a while.  I think it depends upon the guts -- perhaps better, gut reactions -- of as yet unknown judges (including perhaps justices) that will hear the cases.

But, if I were picking Judges taxpayer friendly guts on this issue, Judges Hughes and Holderman would be at the top of the list (even before they decided these cases).

For prior blogs on the topics, click the labels below.

Addendum:  This case was reversed on appeal.  See Seventh Circuit Compels Production of Offshore Bank Under the Required Records Doctrine (8/27/12), here.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a legal expert but I think this should go in favor of the 5th Amendment. It would in other (non-tax) cases.

    If someone were charged with murder and there is evidence that he ordered a burial, but the cemetery and lot number are known only to the defendant. And finding the body would be necessary for conviction.

    I doubt a court could order the defendant to disclose that information, but I could be wrong on this.


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