Federal Court Rebuffs Internal Revenue Service’s Efforts to Freeze Assets of Former State Senator Vincent J. Fumo

Cedrone & Mancano, LLC scored a major victory for former state Senator Vincent J. Fumo in his ongoing litigation with the Internal Revenue Service.  In the matter of Vincent J. Fumo v. United States, the Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reversed tax, interest, and penalty jeopardy assessments of approximately $3 million by the IRS against Fumo.  In a 63 page Opinion, the Court ruled that the IRS unreasonably employed “extraordinary measures which bypassed the established pre-assessment procedures that government uses to collect revenue.”  On March 21, 2013, the IRS issued its jeopardy assessments, a measure that sidesteps the normal process of determining whether a taxpayer owes taxes.  It also allows the IRS to engage in collection actions for a tax that has yet to be determined by a court of law as required under the Internal Revenue Code.  The IRS then filed federal tax liens in Philadelphia and Dauphin Counties in Pennsylvania, and Atlantic County in New Jersey and levied a number of financial accounts owned by Fumo which had the practical effect of freezing nearly all of Senator Fumo’s assets.

On behalf of Senator Fumo, Mark E. Cedrone, a founding partner of Cedrone & Mancano, LLC, challenged the jeopardy assessments by first filing an appeal with the IRS, then filing suit in federal court in Philadelphia.  Judge Buckwalter’s decision was rendered in response to cross-motions for summary judgment filed by Senator Fumo and the government.  In granting summary judgment in favor of Senator Fumo, the Court held that the IRS’ actions were “not reasonable under the circumstances.”  The Court ordered that the jeopardy assessments against Fumo “shall be abated.”

Upon being advised of the Court’s ruling, Mr. Cedrone said, “For years, the government has used every weapon in its arsenal to punish Senator Fumo.  We are gratified that the Court rebuffed the government’s latest draconian measures.”

Cedrone & Mancano, LLC is a litigation boutique that represents clients in criminal, civil, and administrative controversies.  The firm has offices at 123 South Broad Street, Suite 810, in Philadelphia.