IRS Employee Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft and Unauthorized Disclosure of IRS Records
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 @ 8:35PM
CFEG reports that on January 20, 2017 the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report on one of its investigations concerning an IRS employee who committed identity theft and unauthorized disclosure of IRS records. TIGTA’s full report can be reviewed by clicking the link below. TIGTA reported that on November 21, 2016, in the Western District of Tennessee, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Michael Anthony Jones was sentenced for conspiracy to commit identity theft and unauthorized disclosure of information. Jones, was initially charged with, and pled guilty to, the offense on July 19, 2016.
TIGTA stated that according to the court documents, Jones, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee, was employed by the IRS as a contact representative at the IRS Service Center in Memphis. Jones had a personal relationship with his coconspirator, identified only as “TFB.” Jones knowingly and willfully agreed and conspired with TFB and others to commit identity theft and unauthorized disclosure of information. The object of this conspiracy was for TFB to obtain IRS taxpayer information from Jones and use such information for unjust financial enrichment.
As part of the conspiracy, Jones used his access to the IRS databases, specifically the Remittance Transaction Research (RTR) system, to obtain taxpayer information without authorization. According to the Internal Revenue Manual, the RTR system provides access to remittance processing data and images, which generally include the front and back of a cancelled check or money order from a taxpayer, and a voucher, if submitted with the payment.
Jones obtained RTR printouts of cancelled checks made payable to the U.S. Treasury Department and other personal information submitted by taxpayers to the IRS. Jones then disclosed such information to his coconspirator, providing TFB with the printouts and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of at least three taxpayers for use in fraudulent activities. TFB used the illegally obtained information to breach taxpayers’ bank accounts, obtain monies, and commit other financial fraud against the taxpayers and the IRS. Jones received a portion of the proceeds from TFB.
He was sentenced to two months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. His supervised release will include two months of home detention and Jones will participate in Moral Reconation Therapy.