Mellon Bank Employees Hid, Shredded Tax Returns

It has been discovered that Mellon Bank employees hid and in some cases destroyed by shredding at least 40,000 federal tax returns and accompanying payments that were received at the IRS's Pittsburgh, PA lockbox this past spring.

The Pittsburgh center handled tax returns for much of the northeast United States, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and parts of New York.

Approximately 1,800 tax returns were discovered missing in June, and a Senate probe late in August determined that at least 40,000 tax returns were missing from the Pennsylvania location.

The investigation has continued, and a recent e-mail message was discovered at the Mellon Bank that describes the situation in which tax returns were "hidden, and in some cases, destroyed."

Mellon Bank Chairman Martin McGuinn attempted to explain the behavior of the bank employees: "As best we know, they did this because they felt they were behind in their work in processing IRS returns." Mr. McGuinn also described the actions of the employees who failed to follow company policy as "gross disregard."

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