A woman who claimed to be an IRS agent working on an extended investigation amassed an unpaid bill of over $55,000 while staying at a California hotel for about two years, and is now facing up to three years in prison.

Sherry Lynn Vertoch, 64, pleaded guilty in late February to impersonating a federal officer and is now being sued by the hotel for breach of contract. In addition to her prison sentence, Vertoch also could be fined $250,000.

Vertoch frequently stayed at the Inn Marin Hotel going back to 2002, according to the San Jose Mercury News, and usually paid in cash, before beginning a two-year-long stay in 2008. She repeatedly told hotel staff that she was a contract employee at the IRS, even though she never worked there, and that they should invoice her for the $79 per night room.

She said she would forward the invoices to her superiors at the IRS, but they would not be able to pay her until the completion of her investigation. She claimed to be a member of an elite team that specialized in investigating large corporations, including Enron, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

One of the hotel’s co-owners, Robert Marshall, told her that he “could not afford to finance the Internal Revenue Service,” and she suggested that he send an invoice to “Accounting Department Federal Investigation IRS.” After he contacted the Treasury Department and learned she was not an IRS employee, she was arrested, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The hotel is suing her for $55,175.25 in guest fees, expenses and charges for pet care. She is currently in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 20 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

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