Constitutional Law-Self-Incrimination- Denial of Privilege to General Partner Holding Subpoenaed Books and Records of Limited Partnership

A special agent of the Internal Revenue Service sought enumerated books and records of four New York limited partnerships in connection with petitioner’s tax liability for prior years. A subpoena duces tecum was issued directing petitioner to produce the records, which were in his possession as general partner. Petitioner, his son, and his son-in-law were the general partners of each limited partnership involved, with limited partners ranging from twenty-five to 119 in number and capitalization from 225,000 dollars to 2,740,000 dollars. The partnerships, together with a management company, were housed in a single office with a staff of one secretary. Petitioner claimed that the order to deliver the books and records to the special agent violated his constitutional privilege against self-incrimination. On appeal from a district court order upholding the subpoena, held, affirmed. Where the size and extent of limited partnership operations show that a general partner’s personal interest in the company books and records is subordinate to the interest of the company as a whole, the partner is holding the books in a purely representative capacity and may not claim for himself the privilege against self-incrimination as to the books subpoenaed. United States v. Silverstein, 314 F.2d 789 (2d Cir. 1963).