Judge Denis Hurley

Burger died in 1995. Her 1991 will naming Michel trustee, granted the trustee power to invest and manage the bulk of her estate. It also directed the trustee to apply net trust income for the benefit son Robert. An April 19, 1996, letter from his former attorney informed Michel that Robert owed $246,579 in taxes, plus interest accruing daily. A June 20, 1996, IRS Notice of Levy and Notice of Tax Lien stated that Robert owed $359,880 for years ending Dec. 31, 1979, through Dec. 31, 1989. In its lawsuit to enforce the IRS’s tax levy, the court granted the government summary judgment to the extent Michel improperly distributed estate assets to Robert after the Notice of Levy’s June 26, 1996, service. Thus Michel—who under Burger’s will had property rights to both trust income and a portion of trust principal for purposes of 26 USC §6332—was liable to the government for at least $114,519, the total amount distributed to Robert between 2003 and 2005, from a so-called 33062 Bank account. Michel’s liability under §6332(d) was not impacted by either his claim that he did not know of the 33062 Account’s existence or the fact that Michel’s lawyer Ruchala signed the five checks, payable to Robert, withdrawn from the 33062 Account.