IRS Erased Hard Drive In Microsoft's Quinn Emanuel Suit – Really?
January 20, 2016
According to Law 360
the Internal Revenue Service said Friday January 15, 2016 that it erased a hard drive belonging to a former agency official after a litigation hold had been ordered on materials relating to a Freedom of Information Act request by Microsoft for documents on the agency's contract with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
The IRS informed the U.S. Department of Justice last month that it did not wipe the hard drive until April of last year, after the hold was in place, according to a Friday filing by the U.S. Department of Justice in a Washington federal court. The hard drive belonged to Samuel Maruca, former director of transfer pricing operations at the IRS Large Business and International Division.
IRS attorneys “have continued to study whether or how the foregoing might implicate the Service’s obligation to conduct a reasonable search in response to Microsoft’s FOIA requests,” the statement said.
In compliance with an October order from the court, the IRS continues to release records on a monthly basis pertaining to Microsoft’s FOIA request, according to the filing. Maruca’s hard drive was not captured by the litigation hold because under the IRS’ normal practices it would have been recycled the month after he left the agency in August 2014, which was before Microsoft requested the documents, the statement said.
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