More than two years after her upstart Senate campaign rocked the Delaware political world, Christine O'Donnell got an unexpected contact from a U.S. Treasury Department agent warning that her private tax records may have been breached.
The phone message earlier this year shocked the battled-scarred candidate, a tea party favorite who knocked off Republican mainstay Michael Castle in the primary before losing in a bid to win Vice President Joseph R. Biden's former seat.
"Ms. O'Donnell, this is Dennis Martel, special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury in Baltimore, Md. … We received information that your personal federal tax info may have been compromised and may have been misused by an individual," he said in the January message left on her cellphone.
For Ms. O'Donnell, the message immediately raised red flags.
On March 9, 2010, the day she revealed her plan to run for the Senate in a press release, a tax lien was placed on a house purported to be hers and publicized. The problem was she no longer owned the house. The IRS eventually blamed the lien on a computer glitch and withdrew it.