A former Internal Revenue Service agent has pleaded guilty to soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a small business he was auditing.
Robert Rosner, who worked as an IRS agent between August 2004 and December 6, 2006, initiated an audit of the New York-based business. On November 28, 2006, he contacted the head of the company and suggested they have lunch. At the lunch, Rosner offered to terminate the audit in return for $5,000, according to the Justice Department. The head of the company agreed to pay the bribe, and on Dec. 1, 2006, Rosner submitted paperwork recommending that no change be made to the company's tax returns, effectively ending the audit.
Two days later, the business owner secretly recorded a conversation in which Rosner expressed discomfort with their agreement. Rosner said he had relied on the company head's acceptance of the offer and had already taken steps to conclude the audit. The business owner agreed to discuss the issue with Rosner further the next day. Two days later, the victim received a phone call from Rosner in which Rosner said he had closed the audit.
Rosner faces sentencing on October 17. The bribery charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration worked with federal prosecutors on the case.
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