October 20, 2023

Guilty Plea from IRS Contractor for Unauthorized Tax Return Disclosure and Theft

Charles Littlejohn, a 38-year-old IRS contractor from Washington, D.C., has admitted guilt in a case of unauthorized disclosure of tax return information. Initially charged with this offense on September 29, 2023, Littlejohn’s guilty plea signifies a waiver of indictment.

Court records reveal that between 2017 and 2021, Littlejohn was employed by an undisclosed consulting firm, servicing both public and private clients. As part of his responsibilities, he worked on contracts linked to the IRS, involving the disclosure of tax returns and return information for tax administration purposes.

During 2018 to 2020, Littlejohn unlawfully accessed tax returns and related information belonging to an individual referred to in court documents as “Public Official A.” Although not explicitly named, this individual is widely presumed to be former President Donald Trump.

Littlejohn disclosed this tax information to an unidentified media outlet, referred to as “News Organization 1” in legal documents. In September 2020, this outlet published a series of articles based on Public Official A’s tax returns, which aligns with The New York Times’ reporting.

Additionally, court records indicate that Littlejohn provided returns and return information spanning over 15 years, involving thousands of the country’s wealthiest individuals, to “News Organization 2.” This second entity, although not explicitly named in the charges, appears to correspond with ProPublica’s 2021 reporting.

ProPublica has declined to comment on the plea hearing, while The New York Times has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Littlejohn’s actions included accessing these returns via an IRS database, using expansive search parameters to obscure his intentions. He subsequently circumvented IRS protocols designed to detect and prevent large data transfers from IRS systems, saving the tax returns to multiple personal storage devices, including an iPod.