Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

SHADOW REVOLUTION PREVIEW–Episode four

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Will Edwinson PhotoBrian Manning has an ongoing battle with the IRS.

An excerpt from chapter five:

Brian Manning poured over the papers on his desk. When is this going to end? he thought, as he organized his papers for the scheduled meeting that was to take place later that morning with IRS agent Caleb Hayes. Everything they’ve asked for, I’ve given them. After three years they haven’t been able to find anything wrong, and yet they still persist.

He arrived at the IRS office right on schedule and greeted agent Hays’ secretary with a warm smile.

Woman on phone

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“Good morning, Marion.” He liked her much more than he did her boss. He felt she was sympathetic to his case, and that she didn’t understand why her boss persisted in pursuing it.

She returned his smile. “Good morning, Mr. Manning.”

“Would you please tell Mr. Hayes I’m here,” he said.

She buzzed agent Hayes on the intercom. “Mr. Manning is here to see you, sir.”

“Thank you, Marion. I’m not quite ready for him yet. I’ll let you know when to send him in.”

She turned to Brian, “Mr. Hayes says— “

Brian smirked and waved her off. “Thanks, Marion, I heard.

#

Hayes flipped the intercom off and sat back in his chair. Caleb Hayes lived alone. He had no close friends. Everywhere he went, people paid no attention to him; except here in this office, or wherever else he met people in his official capacity.  He enjoyed the power his position afforded him.

He sat there thinking.  I’ll let Mr. Manning cool his heels for a few minutes. The longer he sits out there and stews, the more nervous and agitated he may become, thereby enhancing his chances of tripping himself up.  I’ve got to come up with some reason to keep this investigation on going.  So far, I haven’t found any legitimate reason for not closing this case, but director Klingher wants it to continue, so I’ll press on.  Twenty minutes later he buzzed his secretary.

“Okay, Marion, Send Mr. Manning in now.”

                                                                    #

As he entered the office, Brian looked at agent Hayes. A balding man, his short frumpy stature, stooped shoulders, curved spine, and small beady eyes were enough to make him appear invisible in a room full of people.  He saw the smug look on Hayes’ face and sensed the game the IRS agent was playing. He was on Hayes’ turf and Hayes was in control. It agitated Brian to be controlled like this, not able to fight back.

Hayes spoke.  “Well, Mr. Manning, I hope you have everything I asked for, and it’s all in order. I have a very busy schedule today, so I can’t be wasting a lot of time hassling over inconsequential details.”

IBriefcase

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Brian could hardly conceal his incredulity. He remained silent. Inconsequential details are all this investigation has ever been about. If you’re so damned concerned about your busy schedule and the wasting of time, why are you continuing this ridiculous charade of an investigation? 

He looked up from his briefcase from which he had been removing his papers. “Where would you like to begin?” he asked.

“Let’s begin with last year’s gross receipts.”

“We went over that data in great detail at our last meeting,” Brian reminded him. “It has nothing to do with the information you requested I bring in today.”

“I know that Mr. Manning, but I’m still not satisfied your information is correct.”

“If you don’t mind, sir, since I thought we had been over that subject at our last meeting, and that we were through with it, I didn’t bring that information with me today, so I’m not prepared to discuss it.”

“I have copies; we’ll use mine.”

“No disrespect intended, sir, but I would feel more comfortable if I had my own data.”

“What are you afraid of, Mr. Manning?”

“I’m not afraid of anything.  I’d just feel more comfortable having my own data. If we finally reach an agreement, I would like to have the data present so we could document that agreement on both our copies at the same time.”

Caleb Hayes’ beady little eyes glared at Brian. “Very well,” he said, “let’s get on with what you have brought.”

Brian removed the rest of the papers from his briefcase and they proceeded with their debate. Every time Brian tried to explain something to agent Hayes, the agent had some objection. The harassment went on and on.

“… I’m sorry, Mr. Manning, but I cannot accept that.” , and  “… That data is not admissible,” and “… What proof do you have that this data is correct? Mr. Manning.”

With this last objection, and in spite of his resolve to not let it happen, Brian’s frustration got the better of him, and his voice developed an edge. “The same kind of proof that everyone else uses; the same kind of proof that is normally accepted by the IRS. You tell me that you can’t accept this data, but I’m sure you’ve been digging as deep into my affairs as is humanly possible. Why haven’t you filed any charges against me if you’re so damned certain I’m defrauding the government? What you are doing, sir, is pure unmitigated harassment.”

They locked eyes. Brian saw that same smug smirk again. He hated that smirk.  The bantering went on for another three hours with them getting nowhere.

Finally Brian said, “This has been a waste of time for both of us, Mr. Hayes. I was under the impression from our last meeting that you were willing to bring this matter to a timely close. It’s obvious from your attitude today that you’re not interested in settling this dispute in a reasonable manner.”  He rose and started gathering together his papers. “If you think for one minute that I’m going to pay $250,000 in taxes that I don’t owe, I’ll see you in hell first.”

“Suit yourself, Mr. Manning. But let me remind you that the government has virtually unlimited resources. We can, and we will, pursue this matter for as long as it takes to either wear you down, or break you financially. Is that what you want, Mr. Manning?”

Brian was astounded at the IRS agent’s arrogance. “You have been investigating me for three years now, with no charges filed. What I want, agent, Hayes, is justice, and I will have it. You can count on that. Maybe not today, but someday—I assure you. . . .”

. . . .Agent Hayes sat at his desk pondering Brian Manning’s last statement.  Something about Brian’s conviction unnerved him.

Caleb Hayes turns Rrian Mannigng’s case over to IRS Director Jason Klingher.

Klingher decides to rachet up the investigation against Brian Manning. He is in for a big surprise when he learns a counter attack has been launched against him by Robert Stratford.  The story continues.

Robert Stratford sat at Brian Manning’s computer loading information into the stock-exchange database.  I can’t believe how primitive these systems are, he thought as he loaded the data.  He spoke to Brian Manning as he worked. “This ought to give Mr. Klingher something to think about,” he said. “In the next few weeks he’s going to be in such hot water he won’t have time to harass honest citizens any longer. We’re going to give him a taste of his own medicine. Let’s see how he handles being on the receiving end of some harassment…..”

. . .Brian asked Robert, “How long will this frame-up take?”

“The information will be in the stock exchange immediately. It will take a few days to leak it to the press.”

Brian walked around and looked at the monitor. “Now let me see if I understand this correctly,” he said.  “You’re showing that Jason Klingher is the proud new owner of ten thousand shares of Amalgamated Paper, right?”

“Yes. That’s right. We’ve got him into the futures market six months out. When the new IRS directive goes into effect, the demand for paper should increase dramatically, driving up the price of Amalgamated stock.  This should put Mr. Klingher in a very embarrassing and precarious situation.”

“It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy,” Brian said.

Robert responded, “My sentiments exactly.”

Episode five coming soon.  Stay tuned.

LouIsa Cover PhotoIn the meantime, you might want to check out my most recent novel, LouIsa—Iron Dove Of The Frontier, that is available in Kindle and print form at amazon.com.  You can go to the “Books” page at the top of this website and read more about her.

 

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