[There is supposed to be a photo of Howard Stern here, but WordPress keeps refusing to embed it, thus showing the software’s admirable good taste.]
In May of 2015, Judith Barrigas of Sandwich, Massachusetts called the IRS service center with a question about her tax refund. She reached IRS agent Jimmy Forsythe, who was goofing off on the job, on hold after a call to Howard Stern’s radio show on satellite radio. Forsythe, still on hold (or so he thought) took the taxpayer’s call, and when the Stern show took reconnected, Stern’s listeners somehow heard Forsythe’s conversation with Barrigas. Stern and paid sycophant Robin Quivers then joked about the call, which concerned Barrigas’s payment plan: the IRS had applied Barrigas’s tax refund to pay her outstanding debts from 2011 and 2012, even though she complained she already had a repayment plan set up with the IRS. Her call, which she assumed was private, should have assumed was private and was guranteed by federal law to BE private, was on the airwaves for nearly an hour.
“I’m learning so much,” said Stern at the time, before he finally cut off the surreptitious eavesdropping. “I feel like I’m in math class and I’m flunking because I don’t know one thing he’s saying. I think I’m going to bail on this guy. By the way, this is the most boring job ever. I’d rather live in my parent’s basement if I had to do that. I’d give out all the wrong information. All right, dude, later!”
Barrigas has just sued the IRS, the Howard Stern Production Company, and Stern individually for violations of the Federal Tort Claims Act, unlawful disclosure of tax returns and personal information, and just the for the Stern side, negligence, invasion of privacy, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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