DeGuelle v. Camilli, No. 12-2541 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
DeGuelle, an accountant, worked from 1997 to 2009 in the tax department of S.C. Johnson & Son. He alleges that during his employment he discovered that the company had committed tax fraud. The company fired him. He took confidential corporate tax documents with him when he left and accused the company, in a newspaper, of tax fraud. The company sued him in Wisconsin state court for breach of contract, conversion, and defamation. He counterclaimed for wrongful termination and breach of contract, claiming retaliation for his opposing the alleged tax fraud. The company moved for summary judgment, attaching an affidavit from a tax lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis denying tax fraud. DeGuelle, litigating pro se, filed no counter-affidavits. The state court granted summary judgment; a court of appeals affirmed. DeGuelle filed a federal suit, charging both federal and state violations, all growing out of the alleged tax fraud. Following a remand, the district judge, after the state court ruled, granted summary judgment in favor of the company, reasoning that the finding by the Wisconsin court that there had been no tax fraud bound the court by the doctrine of issue preclusion. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.