Nevada Corporation Steals IRS’s Name… 20 Years Ago
What would you do if someone stole your name? While some people may become enraged, I suspect the vast majority of people would not care. Indeed, for almost everyone in the world, there is already at least one other person alive with an identical name. For others, it could be thousands. Still, it is undeniable that a name is powerful, whether as an identifier or a brand. Accordingly, people often do get very angry when they feel their name has been besmirched, especially when besmirched intentionally. Yet, for an individual, regardless of whether they wish to be the only person so named in the world, there is no recourse for someone adopting your name. However, such is not the case for the IRS. Indeed, section 333 of Chapter 31 of the United States Code prohibits the use of the words “Department of the Treasury,” or any subdivision thereof in any names, symbols, etc.
So, when the IRS became aware that Peter Tolotti, along with Brant Honkanen and AR Salman, had registered a Nevada corporation named “Department of Treasury – Internal Revenue Service,” located at 3338 Gypsum Rd., Reno, NV, it’s unsurprising that a lawsuit resulted. But, interestingly, Tolotti had registered the Nevada corporation over 20 years ago, and the IRS just noticed.
Now you’re likely thinking two questions at this point: Why is it illegal to use the IRS’s name? And, what on earth was the Nevada-based IRS corporation up to? The answer to the first question is actually pretty simple, to prevent people from misleading others, among other things. To illustrate, although the Nevada corporation adopting the IRS’s name was mostly harmless, one law firm mistakenly assumed that service of its pleadings on the Nevada address was proper notice to the IRS.
Regarding the answer to the second question, that remains a mystery. No one—outside of Tolotti, Konkanen, and Salman, of course—know for sure what the purpose of the Nevada-based IRS corporation was. While the most likely answer is that the corporation probably had no useful purpose, other than to annoy or harass the actual IRS (Salman is a tax protester), it’s more interesting to think of the less likely possibilities.
Ultimately, a Nevada court made short work of the Nevada-based IRS corporation last week, ordered the corporation’s name expunged.
–By Tony Nasser, Esq., Barnes Law
Tony Nasser is an attorney, licensed to practice law in California.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
 31 U.S.C. § 333, subd. (a)(1), (3).
 See ibid.
 United States v. Emil Peter Tolotti, D. Nevada Case No. 3:15-CV-00324-LRH-VPC (July 7, 2016), available at https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=467930332240797380&q=peter+tolotti&hl=en&as_sdt=2003.