The individual who disclosed information on Musk and Bezos before Trump’s taxes evaded investigators for years was eventually apprehended

Anjali Jain
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, left; signatures of former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump appear on their individual tax returns, center; Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right.
  • Charles Littlejohn attested to having leaked the tax returns of Donald Trump.
  • Federal investigators were unaware that he was the leaker, according to new information published in The Wall Street Journal.
  • Littlejohn had come under investigation in connection with an additional disclosure that involved the fortunes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and the billionaires.

The individual responsible for disclosing the tax returns of Donald Trump evaded federal investigators for nearly an entire day, according to The Wall Street Journal. He was apprehended when he was singled out as a suspect in another breach involving the financial information of ultrawealthy Americans.

Charles Littlejohn, an IRS contractor, entered a guilty plea in October on one count of unauthorized access to tax return information. Littlejohn furnished tax documents pertaining to Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Trump to two news organizations on two distinct occasions.

In 2019, Littlejohn initially furnished The New York Times with two decades’ worth of tax returns pertaining to Donald Trump. In September 2020, the news organization ran an article detailing this information.

The investigation into how the information reached reporters was partially thwarted by Littlejohn’s technical prowess, according to federal investigators, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by The Journal. As reported by the Journal, investigators were uncertain as to whether the returns were disclosed by an external source with access to the documents or via a government breach.

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The investigation was shelved as a result of the lack of substantial and definitive evidence. Investigators subsequently launched an inquiry into an unrelated incident involving ProPublica, an organization that in 2021 published dozens of articles detailing the tax returns of ultra-wealthy Americans such as Elon Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk of SpaceX.

The Journal reported that the quantity of information obtained by ProPublica, which comprised tax information from thousands of individuals, suggested to investigators that the IRS had experienced an internal breach. The Journal reported, citing the same unnamed individuals, that investigators then began sifting through employee and contractor search data for peculiar queries that did not correspond with their specified job descriptions.

According to The Journal, these efforts were in vain; however, detectives ultimately made an unspecified breakthrough in their pursuit and shifted their attention to Littlejohn. The contractor acknowledged disclosing the information that had been supplied to both ProPublica and The New York Times.

Littlejohn’s counsel and the Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment sent by Business Insider outside of normal business hours.

As of Monday, Littlejohn is scheduled to receive his sentence for a solitary count of unlawfully obtaining tax return information pertaining to the 2019 disclosure of Trump’s returns, in violation of the statute of limitations that had expired. Infuriated by the disclosures, Republican legislators are demanding that Littlejohn serve a maximum of five years in prison. The prosecution also seeks the maximum possible sentence. The Journal reported that, in the interim, Littlejohn’s attorneys have argued that a “extreme” punishment would be the most severe penalty.

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Based on Littlejohn’s disclosures, the Times and ProPublica published explosive reports revealing that ultrawealthy Americans received massive tax rebates and circumvented regulations to obtain financial benefits.

The former president paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, according to his tax returns. Bezos paid no federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011, according to his tax returns. According to his tax returns from 2014 to 2018, Musk paid $455 million in taxes on $1.52 billion in income.

For an extended period of time, the financial transactions of the ultrawealthy have been scrutinized closely. Conversely, few individuals in public life have garnered the same level of public attention as former President Trump, who presently faces an inquiry pertaining to his business fraud case in New York.

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Former federal judge Barbara Jones, the court-appointed special monitor overseeing the fraud case, seemed to imply on a recent Friday that Trump might have been involved in significant deception. This involved falsely stating a debt of over $48 million to one of his office company, while the loan in question never actually materialized.

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Hello, I'm Anjali Jain, a passionate writer navigating the dynamic realms of entertainment, politics, and technology. My blog serves as a digital canvas where I explore the intricate threads that weave together these diverse spheres, offering readers a comprehensive and engaging perspective. Entertainment Aficionado: As an avid consumer of all things entertainment, I delve into the worlds of movies, television, music, and more. Through my blog, I share insightful analyses, reviews, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the ever-evolving landscape of pop culture. Political Explorer: I'm not one to shy away from the complexities of the political arena. From local issues to global affairs, my writings aim to unravel the intricacies of political events, fostering meaningful conversations about the societal impact of policy decisions. Tech Enthusiast: With an insatiable curiosity for technology, I keep my readers abreast of the latest innovations and trends in the tech world. My articles break down complex concepts, making technology accessible and exploring its profound influence on our daily lives. Narrative Architect: Through my writing, I craft narratives that bridge the gap between entertainment, politics, and technology. Each blog post is a journey, offering readers a thought-provoking exploration of the forces shaping our world. Join me in unraveling the stories that define our culture. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and X for real-time updates, discussions, and a shared passion for the fascinating intersection of entertainment, politics, and tech.
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