Lois Gail Lerner (born October 12, 1950) is an American attorney and former United States federal civil service employee. Lerner became director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2005, and subsequently became the central figure in the 2013 IRS targeting controversy in the targeting of conservative groups, either denying them tax-exempt status outright or delaying that status until they could no longer take effective part in the 2012 election. Both conservative and liberal groups were scrutinized. Only three groups - all branches of the Democratic group Emerge America - had tax exemptions revoked. Lerner resigned over the controversy. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, completed in 2015, found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia" but "found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution."