At the same time IRS investigators were targeting tea party groups and other conservative organizations, the agency also was targeting the already established Freedom's Watch organization, and its largest donors, according to former president and CEO Bradley Blakeman.
In an exclusive interview on Friday, Blakeman said that he was personally targeted by the IRS, but declined to say how much he spent on a two-year battle to clear his name and that of his now-defunct organization. He said the amount was “considerable” in personal time, attorneys’ fees and money spent on an accounting firm specializing in executive compensation.
The IRS, Blakeman said, came up empty handed.
“At the end of the day they got nothing,” said Blakeman, referring to the audit of his personal taxes. The organization wound up paying a relatively small fee of $12,000 based on its $100 million annual budget. “As a matter of fact the IRS agent almost apologized for having put me through that.”
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