The Internal Revenue Service has seized personal property of former Utah Attorney General Phil L. Hansen to satisfy claimed back taxes.
Hansen was first a Murray city judge then Utah's chief legal officer from 1965 to 1969. He was one of the most controversial attorneys general ever to hold the post, at times while in office being embroiled in tax problems.On Thursday, moving vans under IRS direction pulled up to his home and began hauling away his belongings. The action was approved by U.S. District Judge David Sam acting on an affidavit by an IRS revenue officer.
A furious disgusted Hansen claimed Friday that witnesses saw 30 or 40 IRS agents clean him out, damaging fixtures and antiques in his rented house.
They entered when nobody was present, he said. Secretaries arriving during the raid were allowed to answer calls but not to telephone out.
He said he was told that the man who was "emptying the refrigerator would put his arm behind all the food on the shelf at the time and then just throw it on the floor... They even ripped the toilet paper holders and toilet paper that were attached to the wall."
IRS agents "didn't even leave me one chair to sit on or a table to eat from. They started to take my bed out, and somebody make them bring it back. Rather than putting it back the way it was, they just threw a mattress here, the box springs there, the roller thing somewhere else - just tossed things around like it was a trash dump."
They picked and chose books, took his washer and dryer and threw wet clothes on the floor, he said. Clients' files were left in heaps, Hansen added. The affidavit signed by Revenue Officer Dayna Nichols claims Hansen owes $41,253.36 dating to 1984. Of that, $$27,033.69 is listed as unpaid taxes and $14,219.67 as interest and penalties.
Hansen owes income tax, employer's quarterly federal tax and employer's annual federal unemployment tax, the affidavit asserts.
"By reason of taxpayer's neglect and failure to pay such tax within 10 days after notice and demand a levy may be made on all property" that Hansen owns, it says.
In 1966 Hansen purchased the house, which is the historic Grant-Walker Home built in 1902.
"In 1982...an apparent business associated of Mr. Hansen's paid the Internal Revenue Service approximately $285,000 to pay Phil L. Hansen's tax liabilities." it says. At that time, Hansen gave the associate a deed to the home an to another property, it says.
"Mr. Hansen subsequently defaulted on the agreement to repay." and the associated foreclosed on the two pieces of property on Nov. 7, 1986, the affidavit claims.
According to Nichols, furniture and personal belongings in the house weren't listed as collateral and they did not become the property of the associate.
Hansen continued to live in the house, the affidavit says. "Since Mr. Hansen's liabilities were paid...(he) has failed to comply with filing and paying requirements for employment tax returns, and personal income tax returns."
An IRS official told the Deseret News that the agency's next steps are to schedule a public auction of the property advertise the sale in newspapers and post notices in public places.
Until the sale, Hansen will have the right to pay off the lien in full or make some other arrangement, which would stop the auction , he said.
Hansen charged taht the day before the raid his certified public accountant paid the IRS $6,000 and the agency agreed to negotiate payments for the balance.
He denoucned the IRS' deception arrogance intimidation tactics threats...I thought I lived in America where no one including the IRS is exempt from the law. The Gestapo-like tactics used in my case were deplorable.