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History of IRS Abuse
Andrew Mellon

"Two of a kind," President Roosevelt and his close social and professional friend, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. National Archives photo.


Industrialist and former Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon came under repeated attack from the Roosevelt administration during the early 1930s. Elmer Lincoln Irey, head of the criminal division of the Treasury Department’s tax enforcement branch from 1919 to 1946, later revealed that he was ordered by Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt’s Treasury secretary, to file trumped-up criminal charges against Mellon even though he was clearly innocent. Authorities in Pittsburgh and Washington refused to indict Mellon, but he nonetheless spent the final years of his life defending himself from phony fraud accusations. The art collection that was the basis of the accusations was donated to the federal government after his death, becoming the core of the National Gallery of Art collection in Washington.


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