- A sign spotted recently over the door of one IRS office
says: 'Seizure Fever -- Catch It!' Word has it that the IRS agent with
the best seizure rate for the week is rewarded with a brief respite and
other job "perks." Apparently the pressure to hit his weekly
plunder bonus was more than one revenuer could stand, and when he was asked
to show the law justifying his actions, he blew a head gasket.
- The Oct. 2nd incident occurred when Wiley Davis, an
IRS Team Manager from Colorado, became agitated with Las Vegas resident
Ken Nicholson during a hearing to discuss an IRS lien against some property
owned by Nicholson's friend, Keith Milbourne. Davis had been brought in
from Denver specifically for the Milbourne case.
- The Las Vegas Tribune first reported the altercation
as arising from a tax dispute involving an IRS lien against some property
belonging to Ken Nicholson. This was inaccurate. Nicholson had gone along
as counsel for his friends, Keith and Shawna Milbourne, and as a witness
to the proceedings. It was Milbourne's case that was in dispute. They
had also taken along court reporter Beatrice Conner, who caught the whole
incident on audio tape.
- Nicholson had Power of Attorney to speak for Milbourne.
Davis was assisted by a female agent. Throughout the hearing, the two
men made it clear that they were not going to take Davis' word for anything
and would need actual documentation to prove the IRS' stand. Finally,
Nicholson said that they would be willing to pay whatever the IRS claimed
Milbourne owed if Davis could: 1] Produce a Notice and Demand for the tax;
and 2] Give a Code Section which made Milbourne liable.
- Nicholson said, and witnesses as well as the tape recording
concur, that Davis did not attempt to produce that evidence but instead
became visibly angry, lost his self-control, and attacked Nicholson.
- Offense Is The Best Defense "Out of nowhere,"
said Nicholson, "he jumped up out of his chair and came around the
table, grabbed my chair, and began bouncing it up and down. He shoved
it forward and pushed me toward the table. [In the process,] my legs came
apart and were straddling the arm of the chair. With three or four quick
jerks, he yanked the arm of the chair upward and into my groin. Then he
grabbed me and began to physically evict me from the room." Security
officers came in and stopped the melee.
- Court stenographer Beatrice Conner was shocked speechless
when Nicholson was knocked to the floor. "It was totally without
provocation," she said. "He (Davis) was so angry and violent
that if he had had a gun, he would have pulled it out!" Keith Milbourn,
who witnessed the whole meeting and scuffle, gave more details:
- "By the time we called the police there were about
ten people in the hallway including other agents, the witnesses, and security
guards," Milbourn told us, adding that the other IRS agent who was
in the room, Renee Swells, was "surprised and shocked" by Davis'
action. Swells was unavailable for comment.
- Milbourne and Nicholson had called 911 "and the
cops arrived in five minutes all gung-ho and ready to arrest Ken. However,
when they heard the tape played back, they all fell silent, not knowing
what to do." So the officers did nothing. No arrest was made.
- Both men said they tried to report the incident to the
U.S. attorney's office, as well as the FBI, but both Justice Department
entities declined to take their report. The same proved to be true at
the county level with Sheriff Jerry Keller.
- "I know that if I would have assaulted the IRS agent,
I would be sitting in jail right now," Nicholson said. 'But because
the IRS agent is the one who assaulted me, Metro [Las Vegas Police] only
took a statement and let him go.' Hidden Ball Trick When the Metro police
came out, Nicholson gave a voluntary statement backed-up by his witnesses
and the tape recording. He was told that he would have to wait five days
before the report would be actually recorded in the police records.
- "On the sixth day, I went in and found out that
no police report had been made at all. When I demanded that the report
be filed and made official, I was told that I had a statute of limitations
of five days to ask and demand prosecution from the date of the incident
and that now I was too late." In other words, Nicholson was hoodwinked
by officialdom. A spokesman for the Las Vegas Police Department said that
investigators informed Nicholson he had to contact the department within
five days of the incident if he wanted to initiate action against Davis,
since it was "just a misdemeanor battery." LVMPD officials are
sticking to their story that Nicholson had not contacted the department
seeking action against Davis.
- The spokesman also said the department gave all of the
information to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. No announcement
has been forthcoming as to whether Davis has been terminated, placed on
leave pending an investigation, or is being held for psychiatric observation.
- "If Nicholson wants prosecution, he can contact
the general investigations division within the department and they can
move forward on it," the unnamed spokesman added. However, the frustrations
of not seeing any justice in the criminal courts have motivated Nicholson
toward a civil action.
- Previous Developments The October 2nd meeting was an
offshoot stemming from a July 26th situation when IRS auditor Tom Conger
got up and walked out after Nicholson and Milbourne attempted to pin him
down with the same legal stranglehold. A few weeks later, the IRS arbitrarily
placed a $13,000 lien at the county on anything Milbourne owned, without
ever sending him notice. Apparently, when the subsequent meeting was booked
to discuss this lack of due process, the IRS called in its "bigger
gun," Davis, to attempt to handle the situation.
- Longtime tax-fighter Irwin Schiff said in an e-mail alert,
"The public has got to ask itself, why would an IRS agent get so upset
simply because the taxpayer asked to see the law?" Perhaps it was
because Davis already knew that he was attempting an illegal collection.
- Further investigation turned up Dr. Charles Frentheway
in Arizona, who told us it was not the first time Wyley Davis had been
forced to face the truth. Last January, Frentheway showed up for an IRS
audit at the Phoenix office and met with the same Wyley Davis, who purports
to be out of the Denver office.
- "I don't know why they fly him all over, unless
he is their best intimidator," said Frentheway.
- In any case, when the doctor asked Davis some similar
questions as did Nicholson later, the agent refused to answer and terminated
the audit. Perhaps this had happened one time too often by October, and
Davis was emotionally forced to take out his frustrations with violence.
Or maybe he suddenly realized that his failure to collect was about to
cause the cancellation of a pre-planned vacation to the beach with his
family. After all, no seizure, no perks.
- Animal Farm Outraged citizens from all over the country
are demanding disciplinary action be taken against Wiley Davis, thanks
to the news from the internet. No doubt he will get demerits on his permanent
record. He might even lose his job, but don't bet on him ever going to
trial on criminal charges. Indeed, had Nicholson been the aggressor, he
would be wasting away on bread and water in the Las Vegas dungeon, awaiting
execution. But on the "Animal Farm" at which we live, where
"All animals are created equal," we have to bear in mind that
some of these animals are more equal than others.
- Joseph R. Smith, an IRS agent for eighteen years from
Las Vegas, testifying before Congress, stated: "I have sat on many
a promotion panel where the first question of panel members was "How
many seizures have you made?" With this "bottom line" in
mind, rather than disciplining an agent of questionable mental stability,
maybe the Public Relations Department of the IRS will recommend that they
publicize the actions of Wiley Davis, in order to instill more fear in
the hearts of the chattel slaves. Just a thirty-second TV commercial would
do it. It could open with Mother Theresa as the reluctant taxpayer questioning
the auditor. Then in the next scene, Wiley Davis splinters a chair over
the old lady's head, and the voice-over says, "Sometimes we are kinder
and gentler. Don't ask stupid questions, just pay up!" It will work
for awhile - until some Mike Tyson-wannabe bites his ears off.