Contracts Total Over $500 Million
Braulio Castillo, CEO of Strong Castle Inc., claims he broke his foot playing sports at a military prep school in 1984. As an IRS contractor he has been using a minor, possibly non-existent injury from his prep school days 27 years ago to secure government contracts for his company was publicly shamed by Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in such a magnificent way that it almost made his fraud worthwhile.
In a story by Jared Serbu of Federal radio News Radio, witnesses claimed Strong Castle engaged in fraud to win its contracts, though evidence the investigations have publicly produced to date suggest the company's activities fell within at least the letter of the law, if not its intent.
The IRS told congressional investigators that it was troubled by the allegations, but needed to keep at least one of its large contracts with Strong Castle because it provided a subscription for mission-critical IBM software. The agency's posture changed abruptly when the oversight committee revealed in a preliminary report on Tuesday that it had obtained records of hundreds of contacts between the two men's personal cell phones, including dozens of calls and text messages in the days leading up to one major IRS IT acquisition.
Beth Tucker, the deputy IRS commissioner for operations, said the content of the text messages and emails, which revealed not just an overly-cozy relationship but also numerous homophobic slurs, prompted IRS officials to begin looking Tuesday for ways to terminate its relationship with Strong Castle, which, all-told, has a ceiling value of approximately $500 million.