IRS gets access to offshore records in tax evasion probe

PT       2000-11-02 
A judge on Monday granted the IRS access to thousands of MasterCard and American Express credit card accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in three offshore banking havens. The agency will use the records in a sweeping tax-evasion probe. U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan agreed with the IRS that cardholders may have violated U.S. tax laws and that their identities are not readily available from other sources. The court order allows the IRS to issue summonses for charge, debit and credit cards issued or paid by banks in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the country of Antigua and Barbuda in 1998 and 1999.