Argued: September 12, 2017
from the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, at Greenbelt. Paul W. Grimm, District Judge.
Adam Bushell, BUSHELL LAW, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
Geoffrey John Klimas, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Washington, D.C., for Appellee.
Michael S. Rothman, LAW OFFICE OF MIKE ROTHMAN, Rockville,
Maryland, for Appellant.
Caroline D. Ciraolo, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney
General, Diana L. Erbsen, Deputy Assistant Attorney General,
Thomas J. Clark, Robert W. Metzler, Douglas C. Rennie, Tax
Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
D.C.; Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF
THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore, Maryland, for
WILKINSON, MOTZ, and DIAZ, Circuit Judges.
GRIBBON MOTZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
an investigation of Melina Ali's income tax liability,
the Internal Revenue Service issued a summons to her seeking
various documents. When Ali failed to produce certain
documents, the district court held her in contempt. Ali
appeals, and for the reasons that follow, we affirm.
case involves a complex factual and procedural history, which
we need only briefly summarize. In 2013, the IRS began
investigating Ali's federal income tax liability. The IRS
issued an administrative summons to Ali, directing her to
appear and produce documents related to financial accounts
and corporate records for several business entities. Ali
appeared but asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege and
refused to produce any documents or provide any substantive
Government petitioned to enforce the summons and Ali moved to
quash, again asserting her Fifth Amendment privilege against
self-incrimination. After a show-cause hearing, the district
court determined that the Government had made a prima
facie case for enforcement with respect to many of the
requested documents. The court initially reserved decision on
the Fifth Amendment privilege with respect to "records
relating to foreign bank accounts" and "corporate
records for domestic or foreign entities possessed or
controlled by Ali in a representative capacity, " but
ultimately held the Fifth Amendment privilege did not protect
those records. Accordingly, the district court ordered Ali to
produce those documents ("Enforcement Order"). Ali
noted an appeal to challenge the denial of her Fifth
Amendment claim but withdrew that appeal before this court
could consider it.
response to the Enforcement Order, Ali produced hundreds of
pages of documents, but almost all of them related to her
domestic bank accounts. With respect to her foreign
bank accounts and corporate records - all clearly subject to
the Enforcement Order - Ali produced only four pages of
information: a one-page letter from a foreign bank dated
prior to the summons stating that Ali's signature did not
match the signature on file for the account in question, and
three pages of correspondence showing Ali had power of
attorney for one of the corporate entities. The ...