Two and a half years ago, when Howard Antelis called an Austin congressman’s office to report that his bosses at the IRS were deliberately ignoring a multibillion-dollar tax return fraud scheme, he didn’t intend to become a hero to anti-tax, anti-immigrant activists. The way he saw it, Antelis — who describes himself as a liberal libertarian —was simply a federal taxman doing his job.
“I’m a U.S. citizen who was sick and tired of seeing our employers — taxpayers — getting ripped off,” he said. Getting anyone to listen was another matter.
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This story continues ongoing scrutiny of government by Eric Dexheimer, a Statesman investigative reporter since 2007. His previous coverage has revealed the state’s siphoning of court fees for other uses, high suicide rates among state prisoners kept in solitary confinement and how local governments profited from illegal gambling.