IRS Employee Charged in Connection with Misusing Victim Identities to Commit Credit Card Fraud

Monday, January 27th, 2020 @ 2:38PM

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CFEG reports that on October 2, 2019, in a federal district court in the Eastern District of Virginia, an IRS employee was charged with access device fraud. This IRS employee was subsequently arrested by special agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on October 3, 2019.


According to court documents the IRS employee was employed as an Information Technology Specialist with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to TIGTA between January 2016 and February 2018, she knowingly, and without authorization, used the names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers of at least three victims to obtain fraudulent credit cards. For example, one victim’s personally identifiable information (PII) was used to open an American Express credit card account on which $49,000 in fraudulent charges were made. Among the purchases were an airline ticket for travel from Washington, DC, to Miami, Florida, and a hotel reservation, in the IRS employee’s name.


According to TIGTA a second victim’s PII was used to open a U.S. Bank and Trust credit card. Bank statements revealed that a total of $10,273.39 in completed transactions and $2,651.62 in attempted transactions were made using this card. Included in the purchases was an airline ticket in the IRS employee’s name from Dulles, Virginia, to Montego Bay, Jamaica. A third victim’s PII was used to open a U.S. Bank and Trust credit card, which was mailed to the IRS employee’s address. A total of $9,641.69 in fraudulent charges were made using the third victim’s card. An official review of the IRS employee’s e-mail account further revealed that she received an e-mail message from PayPal congratulating the third victim for setting up his or her account and instructing the victim to click a link in order to confirm the accuracy of his or her e-mail address.


According to TIGTA the IRS employee received a subsequent e-mail message at her IRS e-mail account from PayPal advising the third victim that he or she was officially a PayPal member. When interviewed, each of the victims confirmed that the fraudulent credit cards were opened in their names, and that the IRS employee did not have permission or authority to use their information to apply for the cards.


If convicted, this IRS employee could face a fine and up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

When IRS employees engage in criminal conduct, such as fraud and identity theft, the IRS fails in its mission to apply the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.

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