Friday, August 19, 2016

Criminal Defense Lawyer's 5th Amendment Privilege Trumps an IRS Summon

Defense Lawyer Pleading The 5th Beats IRS Summons preview imageAccording to Law360, A Minnesota federal judge has denied the IRS’ request to enforce a summons against a local criminal defense lawyer the agency accused of hiding tax-related information, agreeing with his Fifth Amendment objection citing the right against self-incrimination.

Attorney Martin S. Azarian had provided the tax agency certain documents in response to a summons over his income taxes. The IRS then sued in Minnesota federal court to obtain more information from him that he allegedly improperly withheld. The attorney pushed back, asserting a reasonable fear of prosecution under the Fifth Amendment.

Agreeing with a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright ruled Tuesday that Azarian's Fifth Amendment privilege assertion is valid.
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