A husband and wife, once suspected of tax evasion have filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen federal IRS investigators, accusing the agents of violating their rights and stealing $1.9 million during a 2012 raid on their scrap metal recycling business.
In their federal court complaint, Todd and Carrie Zappone describe a search of their home and business that included Internal Revenue Service agents breaking down their front door with a battering ram, detaining them at gunpoint, disabling video surveillance, and accusing them of being drug dealers.
The Zappones also allege that agents seized more than $3 million in cash from Mr. Zappone’s safe at Ohio Scrap Corp. near Delta, but recorded collecting only about $1.3 million.
Their attorney Stephen Dunn also explained that the agents maced the dog, took control of the business all day long, and helped themselves to $1.886 million of cash.
The suit names 13 agents, though it says more could be added. The federal government may also be added to the suit in the future. Court records don’t list attorneys for the 13 defendants.
The Zappones are seeking unspecified restitution and damages, on top of a claim for the $1.9 million they say was stolen from their safe.
The Zappones have never been charged with a crime.
The lawsuit filed this week said the Zappones lost their business and their reputations as a result of the agents’ actions.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers