With the wounds of tax season still fresh, it's OK to feel a little warm and fuzzy about this one. Just two days after the April 15 tax filing deadline, former Internal Revenue Service agent Harry Willner was sentenced to a year in jail for his role in a fraudulent tax scheme. [Thanks, White Collar Crime Prof Blog]
According to the Justice Department, in addition to his job at the IRS, Willner also served as an officer for NIA Advertising. In 2002, the company reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in net operating losses. From the Department of Justice:
Between 2003 and 2004, WILLNER attempted to, in effect, sell NIA's [net operating losses] to other taxpayers, which would enable those other taxpayers to use the [net operating losses] to offset the income on their own tax returns and thereby to fraudulently reduce their tax liabilities.
That simple, huh? It's a scheme only an IRS agent could understand—let alone perpetrate.
In addition to the year in prison, Willner has to pay a $10,000 fine and—you got it—pay all the taxes he owes the government, plus interest and penalties.
You know the IRS—always hitting you with interest and penalties...