My name is John Melching III. I am a student returning to Penn State to finish my 5th year thesis. The faculty administering the AE thesis program have graciously allowed me to complete much of my work remotely, due to circumstances still ongoing from the previous spring semester in 2013.
I have contemplated the notion of whether or not to place this information on here. Ultimately, I have concluded that the torrent of pain and suffering I and my family have gone through in the last 5 to 6 years is something so extraordinarily rare and unique that it must be at least partially immortalized in the form of text. For this reason, I feel that the action of posting this information here is validated. It is not it's own sidebar heading, and I imagine most people will not notice this page, but I am doing it because I need to.
To briefly summarize the events of the past 6 years, my family has been under attack by the IRS. The CFO of my family's business, as well as the out-of-house tax accountant we pay to ensure taxes are kept in order, both were negligent in paying almost 5 years of taxes for the business. The inflicted damage was over 20 million dollars. It put 350 people out of work, took everything we had, assets, cars, our home... in order to pay the debt. All would be well, we could all live with the unfortunate state of events. We could have coped with the unfair burden of paying $300,000 a month to the IRS, which ultimately ruined the company. We could have coped with the fact we now all live with my grandmother, who also sold her house to help us (we now live in a home paid for by close friends of ours). We understand that these things we lost are just that, things, that we still have our family. But the IRS decided they were not done with us. The remaining balance of the debt had to be paid, with cash or with blood. And so it was.
During this time frame, our CFO died of a heart attack. Our secondary accountant also died of a heart attack... Because of this, the IRS decided that my family is now also responsible for a minority business enterprise that we helped fund who rented shop space from us. Why? Because my father signed a single check on their behalf when no one was around to help them out... This now implicated the Melching family with another 12 million dollars in owed taxes. The literal words out of the IRS agent's mouth when we asked why was: "Because you can pay."
To this day, to this very moment of these words being written, my father and I fight harder than both of us have ever needed to in our lives or ever will, I hope. The pain and stress has been almost insurmountable. If it had been any other family in the world, I truly believe, they would have failed. They would have died. So we are trying to rebuild while at the same time we are carrying this boulder over our heads in the hopes that one day we can put it down and finally continue living without fear and anguish.
This is the reason I could not finish my thesis in my 5th year. I had to devote time and effort to keeping my father from driving his car into a tree to collect on his insurance for us a la "Death of a Salesmen" style. I had to go home often to make sure my mom ate properly and didn't die from mental and physical exaustion. I devoted time and money to starting a new buiness in my name so I could support my parents with the money I generate, because they can no longer make an income due to ridiculous wage garnishing by the IRS.
Nothing is the same, nor do I believe it ever will be. But in an attempt to forge new life, and new hopes and dreams, I am making a serious effort to complete my education by finishing my remaning class, AE thesis.
I could write a book on the injustices, wrongdoings, and shear and utter criminal dealings of the IRS that could fill a book (and one day may). It would be no surprise to me that in the recent light of events, the IRS scandals, and their notoriety as of late, that it is a possible source of what has happened to my rebublican, NRA members, cowboy family...
To the reader of this information, I ask that you understand for a moment, that pain and suffering can be administered in all forms. That what we have been victim to, what I have now assumed as my responsibility and burden, is something that would kill most people. I am still here, and I am still fighting.
To my future self, remember these moments, because it will give you strength beyond words that only a few humans have ever been able to achieve.
-John Melching III