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FIA-12-0026 - In the Matter of Russell Carollo

The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) determination issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).  The appellant filed a FOIA request asking for, inter alia, “all information related in any way to any complaints of any kind, investigations, administrative actions and/or prosecutions involving Masters Capital Management and/or its CEO Michael Masters.”  In its Determination Letter, OIG issued a Glomar response.  It informed the appellant that it neither confirmed or denied the existence of an any such records described in the request. The Determination Letter, citing FOIA Exemption 7(C) as support, went on to state that, lacking an individual’s consent, an official acknowledgement of an investigation or an acknowledgment of the existence of investigatory records about an individual could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  The appellant challenged the OIG’s Determination.  After reviewing the subject matter of the request, the method by which the request was processed, and the OIG justification offered in the Determination Letter, OHA found that OIG appropriately invoked its Glomar response.  Therefore, OHA agreed that providing any other response to the FOIA request would potentially constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  Accordingly, the Appeal was denied.