Burglar holding bag" by Marco Verch is Licensed under CC BY 2.0 DEED.

IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel told the House Ways and Means Committee on Feb. 15 that “tens of thousands” of people had their private tax files stolen by the recently-sentenced thief Charles Littlejohn.

If Werfel’s “tens of thousands” figure is accurate, this is a much larger number than previously known. Court documents described by the Washington Post and Courthouse News Service have cited figures of 7,600 individuals and 600 entities.

The “tens of thousands” figure was given in response to questioning from Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas):

Van Duyne: “How many individuals and entities had their information stolen?

Werfel: “I don’t want to quote an exact figure, it is way too many. But it is in the tens of thousands.”

Van Duyne: “Do you know for each for entities and for individuals?”

Werfel: “We have all the detail. Yeah, TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] has shared [with] us the information because we have a responsibility to reach out to the impacted taxpayers so that they have notice on the situation.”

Van Duyne: “So can you get us that information?”

Werfel: “Yes.”

Perhaps Werfel was referring to the total number of stolen files taken. Taxpayers will have to wait and see what written documentation he provides to the Ways and Means Committee has part of the official hearing record.

Described by the Biden-appointed judge Ana Reyes as the largest heist in IRS history, the thief stole a vast trove of tax returns and audits covering a period of more than 15 years and gave it to the progressive outlet, Pro Publica, which published the first of its reports coincidentally (cough) at the same moment congressional Democrats and President Biden launched a major tax increase effort.

The Werfel-Van Duyne exchange can be viewed here and below: