A former consultant with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been charged with disclosing former President Trump's tax returns to the New York Times while he was in office, federal prosecutors said Friday.
The Justice Department identified the suspect as Charles Littlejohn, 38, a Washington D.C. resident. In a federal complaint, the DOJ said Littlejohn disclosed the tax returns of "thousands of the nation’s wealthiest individuals" to news organizations and tax information associated with a "high-ranking government official" to a different news outlet.
Fox News was told the second news organization that received stolen tax information is Pro Publica, a New York City-based nonprofit investigative journalism group.
The returns dated back more than 15 years, court documents said. He allegedly stole the tax returns between 2018 and 2020, federal prosecutors said. Trump is not named in the complaint.
"Littlejohn is charged with one count of unauthorized disclosure of tax returns and return information. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison," the DOJ said in a news release.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the IRS’s internal watchdog, is investigating the case. The DOJ declined to comment on the case.
Fox News was told a guilty plea is in the works. Littlejohn was working as a contractor for the tax agency when he allegedly stole Trump's tax returns and gave them to the New York Times. The newspaper published several stories on Trump's taxes before he left office.
In September 2020, Trump defended his tax history, saying he paid "millions of dollars" to the Internal Revenue Service and argued he is "entitled" to tax credits "like everyone else" in the wake of a New York Times report that said he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years.
Fox News Digital's Brooke Singman contributed to this report.