A Texas restaurant owner has been sentenced to two years in jail after he was convicted of trying to bribe an IRS agent by offering her free pizza and a job.
Ramesh G. Khilnani, 51, a Houston-area resident and a native of India, offered pizza and work to an IRS agent in February 2008 after an audit of his business showed that he owed $49,000 in back taxes for the years 2004 to 2007. The auditor, suspecting she was being offered a bribe, reported the incident to her supervisor.
Agents from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration arranged for the recording of subsequent meetings via telephone and in person between the agent and Khilnani. During the course of these contacts, Khilnani offered the agent $2,500 and delivered $2,000 in exchange for having his tax liability reduced from $49,000 to around $500. In addition to financial compensation, Khilnani repeatedly offered the agent pizza from his restaurant as part of the deal.
Khilnani pleaded guilty and was convicted of bribery of a public official. U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. sentenced Khilnani to 24 months in federal prison for bribery of a public official. He has been in federal custody since his arrest in October 2008 and will remain in custody to serve his sentence.
Khilnani is a citizen of India and has no legal status in the U.S., according to prosecutors, and he is subject to deportation upon completion of his prison term.
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