Todd Jason Snarr Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on September 7, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, TODD JASON SNARR, a 46-year-old resident of Kalispell, pled guilty to unauthorized inspection of tax returns or return information. Sentencing has been set for December 16, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
SNARR worked for the Internal Revenue Service from 1994 until 2010 as an Individual Taxpayer Advisory Specialist. On multiple occasions between January 3, 2006, and April 9, 2008, SNARR accessed the tax records of R.K.L. and S.P.C., both of whom have a personal relationship with SNARR, without authorization. SNARR admitted only that he accessed the returns or return information of S.P.C. without authorization. However, there is proof that SNARR also accessed R.K.K.'s information without authorization.
In July 2008, the Strategic Enforcement Division ("SED") of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ("TIGTA") reported that SNARR may have accessed the tax records of R.K.K. and S.P.C. without authorization. SED's discovery of SNARR'S conduct was the result of an initiative designed to identify taxpayer electronic refunds fraudulently diverted into the bank accounts of IRS employees or their spouses or dependents. SNARR became a target of the investigation because R.K.K.'s 2007 refund was designated to the same bank account as SNARR'S 2007 refund.
SNARR'S computer access and activities from January 2005 through June 2008 were audited as a part of the investigation, in order to determine whether SNARR obtained unauthorized access to tax records, also known as UNAX violations. The results of that audit revealed that SNARR had 294 potential UNAX violations during the operative time period. According to IRS guidelines, those accesses, if they were unauthorized, would constitute 49 violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(B) or 26 U.S.C. § 7213A, or both. Forty-three of those potential violations were for research, one was to abate a miscellaneous penalty and prevent the issuance of a notice pertaining to the taxpayer's installment agreement, one was to request a sanitized version of tax return information, and four were to revise the requirements of an installment agreement.
SNARR faces possible penalties of one year in prison, a $1,000 fine and 1 year supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.