The Department of Justice released an explosive report about five IRS employees who allegedly stole COVID relief funds and went on a spending spree.
According to the DOJ, they spent the money on a Mercedes-Benz, Gucci clothing, jewelry, and a trip to Las Vegas.
“The IRS employees charged in these cases allegedly abused the trust placed in them by the public,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Criminal Division is committed to safeguarding that public trust and protecting pandemic relief programs for the American people.”
This report is just one of several instances of COVID relief funds being wasted to the tune of billions and billions of dollars.
“These individuals – acting out of pure greed – abused their positions by taking government funds meant for citizens and businesses who desperately needed it,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz for the Western District of Tennessee. “I thank our law enforcement partners for rooting out this fraud. Our office will not hesitate to pursue and charge individuals who steal from our nation’s taxpayers.”
The current and former employees were charged with “schemes to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, federal stimulus programs authorized as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”
“Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and each count of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison,” the IRS said. “A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”