Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against IRS for Wife’s Suicide After Raid

A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed by an Indiana man against the U.S. government, claiming that a raid by Internal Revenue Service agents in his family’s home led to his wife’s suicide three days later.

According to a note written by Denise Simon, a 50-year-old mother of six children, she couldn’t go on living in fear of the agency and their charges, which she described as excessive. Her husband, 57-year-old James Simon, filed the suit, and set up a Web site dedicated to his wife Denise that also listed a note she reportedly left before she committed suicide, according to the Associated Press.

The following was listed on the site: "I am truly innocent of any attempt to evade taxes, launder money, commit fraud or the other things I am being accused of … I also have no faith in the legal system or the ability of the government to seek the truth." Written in her own hand under the typed portion of the note, Denise further wrote, "With my dying breath I swear Jim and I are innocent."

Attorneys for the U.S. government filed documents at the U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, Ind., claiming within the papers that the government had no responsibility in Denise Simon’s death. Department of Justice Spokesman Charles Miller would not offer any comment on the case, and also declined to say if any charges were filed against Simon.

James Simon's personal injury lawsuit claims that the government inflicted intentional emotional distress, negligence in obtaining and executing a search warrant, trespassing, invasion of privacy and wrongful death, according to the AP. Simon also recently filed a similar suit against the IRS agents who participated in the raid.

According to court documents, 10 armed IRS agents wearing bullet proof vests raided the Simons’ home in Fort Wayne about 7 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2007. Only Denise Simon and their 10-year-old daughter were home at the time while James was outside the country on business, according to the AP.

Simon’s lawsuit claims that the IRS produced incorrect information and made false statements regarding farm subsidies received and the handling of a family trust in order to gain a search warrant.

The suit further claims that during the raid, an IRS agent chastised Denise Simon for breaking laws, which allegedly caused “unnecessary emotional stress.”

Susan Imler, a spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne-area law firm that is handling the suit, told AP that no tax charges or penalties were assessed against the Simons after the raid, but they are still under investigation.

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