WASHINGTON - The U.S. Marshals said a review was being launched to determine if their policies were followed during the eviction of a tax business in the District after personal tax records were left out in plain sight on Tuesday.
The documents, which included people's social security numbers and tax information, were placed on the curb outside of Speedy Tax Service on 8th Street, Northeast and witnesses reported watching people dig through them.
Employees from H Street Main Street heard about the files, which appeared to number in the thousands, and collected them for safe keeping Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department collected the documents, which were in at least 25 boxes, for proper disposal.
Anwar Saleem with H Street Main Street said it wasn't until FOX 5's story aired Tuesday evening that the Treasury Department took notice and contacted him.
"We really need to have some policies and procedures in place when tax places like this close," Saleem said. "How do you put things in place to protect the confidentiality of people?"
Saleem said he believes the mishap could be a training issue.
"If the U.S. Marshals are not taught to do that (then) you can't blame them. Their thing is to evict and put the trash and the property on the street and so they walk away after that," Saleem said. "The federal government has to have some policies and procedures in place to let the U.S. Marshals know when property and tax institutions go out of business that these are the procedures you must follow to protect the files and protect the people."
U.S. Marshals said four deputies were at the businesses supervising the eviction. They told FOX 5 they were reviewing whether all their policies were followed during the eviction process.