This is a letter that I wrote to John Sullivan, Chief of the Examination Division of the IRS District Office in San Jose (courtesy-copying six of his colleagues).1, 2, 3 Within the first two paragraphs, I address the hidden agenda involved in my legal matter and I ask for any and all information the IRS (and all recipients of the letter and witnesses to it) might have in this regard. I believed that the IRS had to be involved in such a complicated legal and decades-long financial matter, at least to some degree.4 I even throw in that the IRS, et al. could be “unwitting participants in the grand conspiracy underlying my unrelenting legal and financial difficulties.” (No wonder the IRS is nowhere to be found in my life! I’d forgotten how tightly I ratcheted up, liability-wise, whatever their participation in matters related to me might be.-Delusions of grandeur? Maybe)
Later in the letter (and one of my reasons for writing it), I mention a curious March 8, 1990 answering machine telephone message that I received from someone calling himself “Ted Harrison” of the IRS. I had transcribed the short message and presented it in my letter. I will do so again right now. Here’s what the affable-sounding Mr. Harrison said:
“Yes, uh Richard. Uh, this is Mr. Harrison at the, uh, IRS. Could you call our office first thing Monday
morning. And just ask for “Ted,” Ted Harrison. Thank you. That’s in, uh, Modesto.”
I go on to ask Mr. Sullivan what he might know about “Ted.” In doing so, I was simultaneously asking the local Modesto-IRS the same question a second time (via their courtesy copy of the letter), for I had inquired about Ted in person on March 12, 1990 as he’d asked me to do.5 Along with the letter(s), I enclosed a cassette recording of Ted’s message as credible evidence on which to found my inquiry (as opposed to the phone-call having been a figment of my imagination) and also to verify that I did indeed hear the IRS message correctly. I will post this audio recording sooner rather than later.
In addition to my search for information through the IRS and FTB, et al., I continued to seek legal representation from practicing attorneys throughout California in order to get professional help in my search for some answers. I would mail out dozens of solicitation packages at a time to barristers throughout the state and did so on the same day that I dated and mailed the subject letter.6 I attached an example of such an attorney solicitation letter to the back of the Sullivan letter as the last attachment (pp. 00377-00381). The particular solicitation letter that I attached was one (also dated 06/29/91 and affixed to the subject pdf-letter as well) addressed to Edward Hibler, Esq. of the Estate Tax Division of the IRS in San Jose (at the same address as Mr. Sullivan’s). Of course, this was not an attorney who could represent me since he was employed by the IRS. I included Mr. Hibler in the mass mailing at the time because I was told that he was auditing my uncle’s estate tax return, an estate into which I had stuck my Berberian big nose.-And rightly so, I might add.7 I had recently mailed the petition that I had filed in my uncle’s estate here in Modesto to Mr. James Brunton of the IRS-San Jose. (A copy of the petition can be found at 06/29/89 of the Timeline. Said petition was one of the documents attached to the subject pdf-letter) I was told that Mr. Brunton in turn gave it to Mr. Hibler because of Hibler’s auditing of the Estate of Haig Berberian. I was also advised that Mr. Hibler would be contacting me in regard to my petition presumably in the context of the proceeding audit of my late uncle’s estate. Needless to say, Hibler never contacted me by phone or mail or otherwise. Ergo, I attached my solicitation letter to him to my letter to Sullivan. (I was way ahead of LinkedIn)–What’s that saying? “What goes around, comes around”? Perhaps not apropos here. Especially the last half, because the IRS has not “come around” me for more than thirty (30) years.7 Alternatively, they’ve been “going around” me for more than thirty (30) years. So I guess that at least the first half of the idiom is true in my case after all.
On Page 6 of the pdf-letter attached, I restate my tag and dictum, my catchphrase and mantra, as it were, if not my “byline,” which I often planted prominently (bolded, underlined, and italicized) into all of my IRS (and FTB letters): “I have failed and refused to file any income tax returns since 1986.” And I include in the letter the method to such madness, which presently bears repeating:
“…my intention in failing and refusing to file was and is to try to force the IRS, FTB, et al. to investigate me, my finances and the entire Berberian family. I need and needed an honest outside vehicle to find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, because the judicial system I have experienced and its “officers” [of the court] had [sic] been and continues to be, artfully obstructing my agonizing search in this regard. Ultimately, it is because of this, that I am forced to write this letter to you.”
1 I consider the Franchise Tax Board to be a colleague of the IRS because these two taxing agencies routinely share information.
2 I was confident that the twenty-nine documents that I attached to the letter spoke for themselves, my knowing that perhaps the subject letter to Sullivan itself didn’t speak well and might not be wholly understandable. (I was very emotional throughout this saga/psychodrama, albeit somewhat self-aware and introspective) You will not find the 381 pages (comprising the 29-document addendum) to the subject letter in the attached pdf file of same (aside from the 5-page letter to Edward Hibler, Esq.). However, most of said documents can be found at their corresponding respective designated dates within the Timeline around which Berberian Mystery Theatre revolves.
3 I would send Mr. Sullivan a follow-up letter to this one on November 29, 1991 (which can be accessed at that date on the Timeline)
4 All of my letters to the IRS and FTB, et al. over the years were part of a never-ending search for answers. Yet I was left in the dark by all, everyone involved who was in the loop. Even those attorneys who were not involved who looked at my case and could glean what was going on because of their expertise as to how things worked, remained mum. They weren’t gonna rat out their brothers in the “brotherhood” called the legal profession. More importantly, I was kept in the no-information zone by and from the IRS and FTB (whose response to me was, we owe you no info, to which I retorted, I owe you no numbers in black on white and nothing colored green). To every single one of the lawyers involved in my case (let me say it again, every single one of the esquires I solicited and those who came and went). To my father, since deceased. This man failed and refused when alive to be the star witness in my case, the bottom-line reason for which I’ve since figured out, but choose not to divulge just yet. I would have remembered the reason why my father was scared shitless back in those days had anyone bothered to take my deposition. Doing so would have changed everything. I would have gone to my father and told him not to worry about it. It’s okay. Doesn’t matter. I understand. I’m gonna let Bilawski and Drivon handle the whole thing. And you let whoever your attorneys are, handle it. Pete Jeppson can kiss my ass. He’s just a big fat whore with eyes that blink and bat continuously. But neither Drivon nor Bilawski took my deposition. Why? Because doing so would have been a dead give-a-way that they weren’t serious about my case. About the only thing they could have asked me about was my favorite color. And perhaps my date of birth and town in which I was born. So, they just patted me on my head there in Stockton and said, “you run along back to Modesto.” Don’t call us, we’ll call you. It pisses me off that no one had any faith in me to be the man that my father wasn’t. Or maybe they thought that since I was seeing a psychiatrist, I may be a ding-dong. You wanna know what I have to say about my seeing a shrink? BFD. That stands for Big Fucking Deal [emphasis added]). Even my own psychiatrist of ten years had an enigmatic hidden agenda regarding the matter. (“The Doctor” earned himself a starring role in this saga and therefore within Berberian Mystery Theatre) After many years of contemplation regarding Dr. Sheuerman, reflecting on what he said as well as his demeanor when playing his role during the four years of his involvement, I have stripped The (good) Doctor down to his birthday suit. He got made. (See the Timeline at 07/06/96-“The Hypocratic Doctor”)
5 The subject of “Ted Harrison” would come up again (but not by name) more than three years later on November 8, 1994 when I experienced a “surreal”/unreal visit to my local IRS, engaging in discussion with the Revenue Agent Audit Manager. She had left a message on my answering machine after she received her copy of my inquiry about Ted Harrison. In the message, she stated that there was no “Ted Harrison” with the IRS that she knew of. Being that she remembers the Harrison matter more than three years later, and given all of the people she calls and deals with, says something. Actually not. Because I didn’t disappear thereafter. I continued to stay in her face with courtesy-copies of my serial IRS letter-writing. (See Timeline at 11-08-94, “Visit to IRS-Modesto”/Footnote 10)
6 I more or less knew that no attorney would take my case on, regardless of its disposition, after he or she saw who my prior counsel happened to be. (Not slouches, but very competent big-shots, so to speak) Upon seeing and/or reading the documents presented, I’m sure that, for all recipients, an assumption was made that I was a renegade former client on the loose and run amok. (“Not so,” says I) Notwithstanding, over the years, I spent approximately $10,000 on postage alone, soliciting attorney representation. All 1200 or so solicitation packages (mailed to 10% of the law firms in California at the time, probably a Guinness Book record) were sent by certified mail. (My reasoning at the time?-Miracles do happen. But I eventually learned–not when it comes to Richard Berberian v. Haig Berberian & Wells Fargo Bank. Nope. The powers that be involved and their secret res judicata-agenda are vacuum-sealed and nothing can penetrate that bubble. And if he knows what’s good for him or her, an outside attorney does not dare try to do so.-Or else. All recipients knew this. And so far, regarding this dark and dirty incestuous affair, God hasn’t been interested in helping me with even a partial resolution. He left me twisting in the wind as well. Miracles go elsewhere)
7 But not according to the estate lawyers who asked the judge to rule that I be legally considered a vexatious litigant. But, as most people know, “there are two sides to every story,” and I countered their fiction with the facts. Those smarty-pants fancy San Francisco city-slick lawyers got nothin’ on me. (See the Timeline at 08/07/89-“Memorandum of Points and Authorities”) The judge eventually ruled in my favor. He had to. The evidence I presented was crystal clear and I’m sure that all involved didn’t want to risk my entering into the court record more documented evidence that I got treated by the legal and judicial system in a vexatious manner. In calling me a “vexatious litigant,” the opposing attorneys had merely engaged in what the psychiatric books define as “projection.” They were attributing to and characterizing me as being something that was only true of themselves.
8 And here’s another reason why. I end my letter to Mr. Sullivan as follows: “I am sincerely in need of assistance and if you can help me in any way whatsoever, please let me know by mail. If a meeting is in order, please name the time, the place, and the date. Since I am without counsel, and in due consideration of all that I have been through, I think it prudent that I record any such meeting and you can expect me to do so.” (Gee, you’d think that I didn’t want to meet with the man for his help)