WASHINGTON – Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division since 2001, has announced her resignation, effective the end of June. President Bush nominated Ms. O’Connor to the position on May 24, 2001, and the Senate confirmed her appointment in July of that year. As Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division, Ms. O’Connor has been a member of the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force.
In her resignation letters to President Bush and to Attorney General Gonzales, Ms. O’Connor thanked them for the privilege of serving as Assistant Attorney General, and said, “It has been an honor to be a part of the Department of Justice, and to lead the Tax Division’s nearly 600 attorneys and other dedicated professionals through these very challenging times in tax enforcement.”
During her tenure, Tax Division attorneys represented the United States in thousands of civil and criminal cases in federal trial and appellate courts across the country, achieving results that, among other things, identified the promoters and purchasers of illegal tax shelters, collected billions of dollars in federal income taxes that otherwise might have been permanently avoided, identified people and businesses using offshore banks to hide their income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service, enjoined hundreds of tax scam promotions and fraudulent tax return operations involving hundreds of thousands of customers and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax fraud, and sent tax evaders and those conspiring with them to prison for substantial terms. During this time, the Tax Division has also won hard-fought trial and appellate litigation that is turning the tide in the government’s favor against the sophisticated tax shelters that have been aptly called a cancer on our tax system. Assistant Attorney General O’Connor herself represented the United States in oral argument before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits.
“Lee O’Connor has served the Department of Justice and the American people with distinction and honor,” said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. “For six years, she has been tireless in her enforcement of the nation's tax laws, particularly in prosecuting tax fraud. Her success in this and other areas have been a credit to the Tax Division and a tremendous benefit to the United States. I am grateful for her service and wish her well.”