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United States and Joel Lewis v. Tiffany Fine Arts Inc.

decided: September 13, 1983.

UNITED STATES AND JOEL LEWIS, REVENUE AGENT, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, PETITIONERS-APPELLEES,
v.
TIFFANY FINE ARTS, INC. AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES, INCLUDING WORLD MEDICAL MARKETING CORPORATION AND WORLD VIDEO CORP., RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS



Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Vincent L. Broderick, J.), enforcing four Internal Revenue Service summonses issued to appellants Tiffany Fine Arts, Inc., World Medical Marketing Corp., and World Video Corp.

Kearse, Pierce, and Pratt, Circuit Judges.

Author: Pratt

PRATT, Circuit Judge:

Tiffany Fine Arts, Inc. and two subsidiaries, World Medical Marketing Corp. and World Video Corp., (collectively referred to as Tiffany) appeal from an order of the District Court for the Southern District of New York (Vincent L. Broderick, Judge), enforcing four Internal Revenue Service administrative summonses. Tiffany's principal contention on appeal is that before issuing the summonses the IRS was required to comply with the "John Doe" provisions of 26 U.S.C. ยง 7609(f) (1976). In addition, Tiffany argues that Judge Broderick abused his discretion by refusing to hold a hearing regarding the purpose underlying the summonses.

We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Tiffany Fine Arts, Inc. is a holding company for various subsidiaries engaged in promoting tax shelters. Sometime before August 28, 1981, IRS revenue agent Joel Lewis asked Tiffany for a list of names, addresses, and social security numbers of the licensees of a product known as the "Pedi-Pulsor", which World Medical was marketing. When Tiffany refused, Lewis issued four summonses on October 6, 1981.

Each summons identified "Tiffany Fine Arts, Inc. and Subsidiaries" as the subjects of an IRS investigation. Two were addressed to Tiffany Fine Arts, Inc. in care of Steven Hofstein, President, and Janine Martinelli, Secretary and Treasurer, and directed them to appear before Lewis to give testimony and to produce the following documents:

(1) All books, papers, records and other data pertaining to the operation of Tiffany Fine Arts Inc. and subsidiaries (including World Medical Marketing Corp.) for the periods ending October 31, 1979 and October 31, 1980, including but not limited to the following specific records: general ledger, sales journal, purchase book, cash receipts book, cash disbursement book, cancelled checks and bank statements, workpapers, sales contracts, and purchase invoices for the above described periods.

(2) A list of the names, addresses, social security and employer identification numbers for all individuals, partnerships, estates, trusts and corporations who acquired: Pedi-Pulsor distributorships from World Medical Marketing Corporation Inc., World Medical Marketing Corporation, World Video Corporation or any other subsidiary corporation of Tiffany Fine Arts Inc.

(3) A list of the names, addresses, social security and employer identification numbers for all individuals, partnerships, estates, trusts and corporations who acquired lithographs from Tiffany Fine Arts Inc.

(4) A list of the names, addresses, social security and employer identification numbers for all individuals, partnerships, estates, trusts and corporations who acquired any asset, distributorship, etc. from Tiffany Fine Arts Inc., World Medical Marketing Corporation, World Video Corporation or any other subsidiary corporation of Tiffany Fine Arts Inc.

The remaining two summonses were addressed to World Medical Marketing Corp., in care of Peter Rosenthal, President, and Janine Martinelli, Secretary and Treasurer, and directed them to give testimony and to produce the following documents:

(1) All books, papers, and other data pertaining to the operation of World Medical Marketing Corporation (a subsidiary of Tiffany Fine Arts Inc.), for the periods ending October 31, 1979 and October 31, 1980, including but not limited to the following specific records: general ledger, sales journal, purchase book, cash receipts book, cash disbursement book, cancelled checks and ...


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