An IRS agent has been charged withsoliciting and accepting a $9,700 bribe from two business owners in exchangefor lowering the amount of taxes they owed.

Roger Anthony Coombs, 40, of Circle Pines, Minn., wascharged with one count of corruptly soliciting and agreeing to receive andaccept anything of value personally in return for being influenced in theperformance of an official act.

The criminal complaint was unsealed upon Coombs's initialappearance last Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis.

The complaint alleges that on May 8, 2010, Coombs met thetwo business owners to discuss an IRS audit of their business and said thebusiness owed the IRS approximately $60,000.

Coombs allegedly said he could make the situation"manageable," and added he would arrange for the IRS to accept$11,000 instead of $60,000 if the business owners paid him $9,700.

Coombs, who began working for the IRS in June of 2009,conducted audits of individuals and entities to determine whether thoseindividuals or entities had correctly reported their tax liability to the IRS.On Feb. 4, 2010, one of the two business owners received a letter from Coombsregarding the audit. On May 6, 2010, Coombs met with the business owners at theoffice of their accountant. At that meeting and without the accountant present,Coombs allegedly told the business owners they should meet somewhere away fromthe accountant's office and without the accountant to further discuss thematter.

Because of his concerns about Coombs' alleged proposal,one of the business owners secretly recorded their May 8 meeting. Coombsallegedly said he would have to lie about certain things in their audit. Theyagreed to another meeting where Coombs would receive a partial payment of thebribe. Following the May 8 meeting, the business owners reported Coombs'activity to law enforcement.

Coombs and one of the business owners met on May 19,2010, in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Agents observed the business owner providingCoombs with $3,000. Coombs said he had already taken care of things at the IRS.The two arranged for another meeting on June 2, 2010, to exchange a secondpayment toward the full bribe amount. Coombs was arrested last Wednesday.

If convicted, Coombs faces up to 15 years in prison.

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