When we talk about IRS scams, we’re usually referring to chain-smoking Indian dudes packed into a dingy call center trying to scam Google Play cards out of your grandma. Although few Americans might say they trust the IRS, I think we can all agree that at the end of the day, an overwhelming number of IRS agents are upstanding folk just trying to do their admittedly thankless job. Not the lady you’re about to meet.
Felecia Edna Taylor, 50, just threw away an astonishing 29-year career with the IRS after getting caught trying to hustle a taxpayer out of $5,000. The taxpayer who shall hereforth be referred to by his initials S.W. came to Ms. Taylor’s Long Beach office looking for help with his $33,000 tax burden. That’s when Ms. Taylor allegedly got the bright idea to skim a few thousand off the top in exchange for lowering said taxpayer’s burden. Let’s see what the Department of Justice has to say:
According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Taylor, who has been employed at the IRS since 1990, works as a tax compliance officer in Long Beach, where she plans and conducts examinations of individual and business taxpayers. On May 1, a taxpayer contacted law enforcement, and stated that, at a meeting two days earlier, Taylor was “inviting a bribe” in exchange for lowering the amount owed to the IRS to $10,000, according to court documents. The taxpayer was supposed to pay the bribe to Taylor on May 7 at her Long Beach office, court papers state.
The taxpayer met with law enforcement on Tuesday, was equipped with recording devices, and was given $5,000 in cash to give to Taylor, the affidavit states. According to a recording of that meeting, Taylor provided adjusted tax records to show a reduction of the taxpayer’s liability to $10,616 as agreed and, in response, the taxpayer handed Taylor an envelope containing $5,000 in cash. Taylor allegedly took the envelope in one hand, mouthed the word, “Five?” and placed five fingers in the air to non-verbally confirm the amount of cash the taxpayer had just given her. When the taxpayer replied, “Yes, what we agreed on, yep it’s all there,” Taylor placed the envelope on her desk and stated, “We are all done,” the affidavit states.
OK, first of all, the taxpayer deserves some credit for snitching her out. Considering how many millions (billions?) are scammed yearly from panicked taxpayers who honestly believe some Indian guy named Agent Smith is accepting iTunes gift cards in exchange for IRS penalties, it’s amazing he recognized the scam and reported it to authorities. I can only imagine how many grandmas she was able to scare into paying up until someone finally said something.
Second, what kind of dumb-ass criminal agent receives a bribe in her office? That’s just sloppy-ass crime work. Did she not watch “Breaking Bad”? Dead drop, yo, come on.
If she’s convicted, Taylor faces up to 15 years in prison, which makes you wonder just how bad she needed a few grand.