Vincent Burroughs who lives in Oregon was selected by the IRS for an audit of his tax returns. Little did he know that the IRS was going to clean him out in more ways than just his bank account.
Let me explain – maintaining a friendly but professional demeanor can be important to an audit or tax dispute. But having sex with a government agent for a better audit result – well not such a good idea. Yet a lawsuit involving an allegedly alluring—and demanding—female IRS agent suggests that sometimes facts and figures can become overwhelming. If you believe the plaintiff, Mr. Burroughs, passion it seems can overtake a tax audit.
Unlikely? I agree. Preposterous? Perhaps. But Mr. Burroughs filed a lawsuit against the IRS alleging that IRS Agent Dora Abrahamson threatened him with penalties in his tax audit if he did not – let’s say, come across. And in this lawsuit Mr. Burroughs was seeking punitive damages.
What led to “the encounter”…
For a long time Mr. Burroughs said, he was making good money as a contractor. But when the economy hit the skids, his business dried up, quashing his hopes of becoming a full-time motorcycle racer. He got behind on his taxes — by about $20,000, he figured.
Then in August 2011, he was selected for an audit by the IRS. IRS Agent Dora Abrahamson was assigned to the audit. She allegedly told Burroughs that “she knew who he was, and that it was lucky for him that this was the case, and that they should meet”. Ms. Abrahamson allegedly flirted with him over the telephone and via text messages offering him massages and sent him a photo of herself in her underwear – not exactly IRS-approved business attire – and in a suggestive pose.
Mr. Burroughs maintains that he initially ignored her advances until September 2011. That’s when Ms. Abrahamson arrived at his home for an arranged audit meeting. Only she wasn’t dressed much like an IRS agent. Mr. Burroughs said she showed up dressed provocatively and proceeded to proposition him threatening a 40% tax audit penalty if she didn’t get what she wanted.
The interview with ABC News.
Mr. Burroughs was interviewed by ABC News. Like many other taxpayers, Mr. Burroughs said that when he found out he was being audited “he started shaking immediately. His heart rate went up. He was looking to cooperate with the IRS as much as he could”. But IRS agent Ms. Abramson assured him that she was most eager to help out.
Mr. Burroughs stated, “She was sending me texts. Some of them made me feel like, I am lucky that she has got my audit, ’cause she is gonna help me. Then, some of them made me feel like, I think this girl wants something else”. A week or so after the audit began, Mr. Burroughs said, he hadn’t gathered the papers he needed. He said Ms. Abrahamson asked about stopping by to give him a hand. He agreed.
So in September 2011, at 9:00 p.m. on a warm night in Eugene, Oregon, Mr. Burroughs said he opened his front door to IRS agent Dora Abrahamson. It was the first time the two ever met. Mr. Burroughs said in the interview with ABC News that “she said she was going to do my paperwork. She came up the stairs, knocked on the door and I opened the door”.
That’s when the encounter allegedly occurred.
Mr. Burroughs described in greater detail what happened –“She just pushed me back, and I kind of went back, and I landed like that, and she immediately came over, got on top of me, started kissing on me. … [T]hen she leaned up and started tearing my shirt off.”
Mr. Burroughs said they then went into his bedroom.
That was Mr. Burroughs’ interview with ABC News. But let’s get back to the story and what happened after that encounter at Mr. Burroughs’ home.
Mr. Burroughs said that he received a call from Ms. Abrahamson informing him that she was stepping down from his audit due to a “conflict of interest”. A new IRS agent was assigned who came up with a report that Mr. Burroughs owed not the $20,000 he figured – but that Mr. Burroughs owed around $69,000!
Mr. Burroughs was not happy. He said, “somebody has to be accountable for what the IRS does, because they are unaccountable. They run with no leash on.”
Fifteen months go by . . .
Now not that the story isn’t already bizarre enough, but also raising eyebrows is the lack of formal protest. In the fifteen months that transpired after the encounter, Mr. Burroughs doesn’t seem to have made any form of complaint to the IRS or law enforcement in spite of his claims to have suffered much over the incident. But all that changed when, seemingly out of nowhere, in January 2013 he filed suit in the U.S. District of Oregon, Eugene Division (Burroughs v. Abrahamson et al (6:13-cv-00141-TC)).
In his lawsuit, he says he suffered “anguish, humiliation, mental distress, depression, lost income, and loss of trust in governmental authority.” At the time of the encounter with Ms. Abrahamson, he was in an “exclusive relationship with another woman,” he said, and because of the demanding IRS agent, that relationship also suffered.
He calls Abrahamson’s behavior “persistent sexual harassment” and says, among other things, that she was negligent in “permitting her carnal desires to overcome her judgment that it was inappropriate to pursue a sexual relationship with a taxpayer she was auditing.” Her advances, the complaint alleged, “were an excessive intrusion on his person.”
In the lawsuit he was seeking unspecified punitive damages. The lawsuit claimed that Ms. Abrahamson’s conduct caused the plaintiff distress and a rift in his relationship with a “significant other”.
The lawsuit also alleges that the government is liable for damages because IRS officials provided inadequate supervision. I guess Mr. Burroughs was expecting a ménage à trois?
Don’t Take The Chance And Lose Everything You Have Worked For.
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