| July 29
July 29 Federal courts in six U.S. states have
entered orders allowing the Internal Revenue Service to serve
so-called "John Doe" summonses on U.S. banks seeking information
about unknown individuals who have used certain credit or debit
cards in Norway, the Department of Justice said on Monday.
The orders were issued over the last week in lawsuits filed
by the IRS in Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma,
Virginia, and California at the request of the Norwegian
Similar requests are pending in additional federal courts in
Mississippi, New Hampshire and in a different district in
The lawsuits involve 18 financial institutions including
approved orders relating to PNC Bank NA and RBS Citizens NA in
Pittsburgh, USAA Federal Savings bank in San Antonio, and
Prairie Sun Bank in Milan, Minnesota.
The pending court requests also include demands for records
from Wells Fargo NA.
The IRS uses "John Doe" summonses to seek information about
possible tax fraud committed by individuals whose identities are
not known. The tax-collecting agency has made these requests in
previous hunts for U.S. tax evaders suspected of hiding money
offshore in Swiss bank accounts.
The lawsuits are part of ongoing international efforts to
stop tax evasion through the use of foreign accounts, the
Justice Department said in a statement.