UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al v. SAMANGO
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE MICHAEL M. BAYLSON ON 4/12/16. 4/12/16 ENTERED & E-MAILED.(fdc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND
KERRY C. MARTIN, REVENUE
OFFICER OF THE INTERNAL
ANTHONY J. SAMANGO, JR.
April 12, 2016
Plaintiffs the United States of America and Kerry C. Martin, Revenue Officer of the
Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) move this Court, pursuant to 26
U.S.C. § 7604(a) (2015), 1 to enforce an Internal Revenue Summons issued pursuant to 26 U.S.C.
§ 7602 (2015) to Defendant Anthony J. Samango, Jr. ECF 1. Defendant has moved to quash.
ECF 6. The Court held a show-cause hearing on Monday, March 28 and allowed Defendant to
submit a supplemental letter, which he did on April 7. ECF 7. For the reasons below, Plaintiffs’
Motion shall be granted and Defendant’s Motion shall be denied.
This case involves an IRS investigation into Mr. Samango Jr.’s tax liability for 2008 and
2009. Section 7602 gives the IRS the power to summon individuals for the purpose of providing
sworn testimony and other information and materials pertinent to tax investigations. Pursuant to
See also 26 U.S.C. § 7402(b) (2015) (providing this Court with jurisdiction to enforce an IRS Summons).
that authority, the IRS served a Summons on Mr. Samango, Jr. on April 7, 2015. He went to the
IRS office in Horsham, Pennsylvania on April 21, 2015, but refused to comply.
Plaintiffs must make “a four-step prima facie showing” before this Court can enforce the
Summons. United States v. Rockwell Int’l, 897 F.2d 1255, 1262 (3d Cir. 1990). Specifically,
they must “show that the investigation will be conducted pursuant to a legitimate purpose, that
the inquiry may be relevant to the purpose, that the information sought is not already within the
Commissioner’s possession, and that the administrative steps required by the Code have been
followed.” Id. (citing United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 57-58 (1964)). “[T]he requirement
of legitimate purpose means nothing more than that the government’s summons must be issued
in good faith pursuant to one of the powers granted under 26 U.S.C. § 7602.” Id. “The
government’s burden to produce a prima facie showing of good faith in issuing the summons is
only slight or minimal and can be satisfied by the IRS agent’s affidavit averring that the Powell
elements have been met.” Pilchesky v. United States, Civil Action No. 3:08-MC-0103, 2008
WL 4452672, at *3 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 29, 2008)
Once the Government establishes a prima facie case, the taxpayer must either “disprove
one of the four elements of the government’s . . . showing, or otherwise demonstrate that
enforcement of the summons will result in an abuse of the court’s process.” Rockwell Int’l, 897
F.2d at 1262. The Third Circuit has characterized IRS summonses as “virtually unassailable” in
cases in which an IRS agent has not recommended criminal tax prosecution. United States v.
Garden State Nat’l Bank, 607 F.2d 61, 70 (3d Cir. 1979).
In this case, IRS Agent Kerry C. Martin submitted an affidavit stating that the four
Powell factors have been satisfied. ECF 1 Pls. Ex. 2. Specifically, Agent Martin stated that he is
investigating Samango, Jr.’s tax liability for 2008 and 2009, that the information sought is
relevant to that investigation, that the records the Government seeks are not already in the IRS’s
possession, and that all administrative steps required by the Internal Revenue Code for issuance
of a Summons have been taken. Id. Plaintiffs have accordingly met their burden of establishing
a prima facie case for enforcement of the Summons. See Masciantonio v. United States, No.
3:14-mc-35, 2014 WL 7213199, at *1 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 17, 2014).
Neither Defendant’s Motion to Quash nor Defendant’s supplemental submission cite a
single case in which a court refused to enforce an IRS subpoena. Defendant mainly argues that
he does not owe any tax. That may or may not be so. But the disposition of Defendant’s tax
liability is of no relevance to whether Plaintiffs may enforce their Summons compelling him to
provide information as part of the investigation. The Plaintiffs may well conclude that Samango,
Jr. does not owe any tax as a result of the investigation, in which case all of his arguments will be
moot. To the extent the Plaintiffs assess taxes, Defendant can challenge them through the
In summary, Defendant has offered no justification for why the IRS Summons should not
be enforced. The Court accordingly grants Plaintiffs’ Motion and denies Defendant’s Motion.
An appropriate Order follows.
O:\CIVIL 15\15-6260 United States v. Samango\15cv6260 Samango Opinion.docx
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