United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
A. O'Toole, Jr. United States District Judge.
defendant, John Nardozzi, moved to discover records from
Brian Joyce's IRS appeal. Nardozzi argued that the appeal
documents might be exculpatory if they revealed a
disagreement within the IRS concerning whether certain
transactions should be treated for tax purposes as a taxable
withdrawal of funds from an IRA or as a nontaxable rollover.
The magistrate judge issued an Order denying the motion for
discovery (dkt. no. 84), to which Nardozzi timely objected
(dkt. no. 86).
argues that the magistrate judge erred in determining that
the documents were not exculpatory and therefore not
material, and in refusing to consider certain documents as
part of that ruling.
with the magistrate judge that the premise of the
defendant's request-that the discovery would yield
exculpatory information-is at best speculative. The
government represented to the magistrate judge that it had
reviewed the appeal file and found no information that would
be responsive to the discovery request. The magistrate judge
apparently accepted that representation, as he was entitled
to do. Accordingly, there was no reason to believe that
anything in the file would enable the defendant to shift the
quantum of proof in his favor. See United States v. Goris,
876 F.3d 40, 44-46 (1st Cir. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct.
ruling on the motion, the magistrate judge declined to review
the IRS documents in camera, or consider a supplemental, ex
parte filing from the defendant. I find no error in either of
these decisions. Absent some specific reason to doubt the
government's representation about the absence of material
exculpatory information in the appeal record, the magistrate
judge was entitled to rely on it. It was also well within the
magistrate judge's discretion to refuse the
defendant's late submission as untimely.
reviewed the objection and underlying motion papers, I
OVERRULE the defendant's objection and AFFIRM the order
of the magistrate judge.
ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR DISCOVERY
has moved to discover documents generated in connection with
an appeal to the Office of Appeals of the Internal Revenue
Service (“IRS”) by his former tax client, Brian
A. Joyce. According to the motion, Joyce appealed an IRS
assessment of taxes and penalties for a distribution of IRA
assets that the IRS determined was unlawfully reported on
Joyce's tax return as a qualified IRS rollover. For the
reasons stated below, the motion is DENIED.
indictment filed on January 18, 2018, Defendant John H.
Nardozzi was charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United
States (Klein Conspiracy), and eight counts of
Aiding in the Filing of False Tax Returns. See Doc.
3. Nardozzi's conduct involved preparing tax returns for
former State Senator Brian A. Joyce, his wife, and business
entities associated with one or both of them.
to the original discovery request, Nardozzi's motion, and
the Government's opposition, in 2014, Joyce withdrew
$400, 000 from a Simplified Employee Pension - Individual
Retirement Account (“IRA”) and used those and
other funds to purchase $471, 250 in stock in a
privately-held insurance brokerage company. The stock was
issued in the name of Brian A. Joyce SEP-IRA and Mary Joyce
SEP-IRA. Nardozzi prepared the tax return reflecting this
event, treating the stock purchase as a rollover of IRA
assets, and filed the return in September 2015. (The
lawfulness of the tax treatment of these IRA assets is the
basis of charges in the indictment.)
the IRS issued a notice to Joyce of an assessment of tax and
penalty, finding that the transaction did not qualify as a
rollover, but rather constituted a distribution to the
taxpayer, triggering a penalty for early withdrawal of IRA
assets, and a tax on the distribution. Joyce initiated an
appeal or review of the IRS determination in the Boston IRS
Office of Appeals (“Joyce ...