Federal prosecutors announced today that 24 IRS workers have been charged with theft.
The Internal Revenue Service employees, both current and former, were indicted on charges for defrauding the government for over $250,000. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Memphis said that the IRS workers stole more than a quarter of a million dollars in unemployment insurance payments, welfare, food stamps and housing vouchers.
U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton said in a statement: “While these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers.”
According to ABC News, 13 of the IRS employees are being accused of lying to the government to receive benefits. Prosecutors says that the IRS workers lied about being unemployed while they were recertifying their government benefits. If convicted of making false statements they could face five years in prison.
The names of the IRS workers were not announced but WSMV Nashville reports that the government employees ranged in age from 28 to 64 and came from Tennessee and Mississippi.
Amy Weirich, the district attorney for Shelby County, said: “The taxes that we pay are supposed to support our nation and assist individuals in need, not free-loaders who are gaming the system.”
The indictments was scheduled to be announced in a press conference today. U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Rodney King said that the conference was canceled at the last minute due to “unforeseen events.”