On 5/9/19, Treasury Police (TIGTA) arrested an IRS auditor, Felecia Taylor, at the IRS office in Long Beach for allegedly soliciting and accepting a $5,000 bribe to reduce the tax liability of a taxpayer who was under audit.
Taylor made an initial court appearance in United States District Court in Santa Ana and is facing a maximum sentence of 15 years. Although more realistically she is looking at between 3-5 years.
According to the press release and the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Taylor, who has been employed at the IRS since 1990, works as a tax compliance officer in Long Beach, where she plans and conducts examinations of individual and business taxpayers.
On May 1, a taxpayer contacted law enforcement, and stated that, at a meeting two days earlier, Taylor was “inviting a bribe” in exchange for lowering the amount owed to the IRS to $10,000, according to court documents. The taxpayer was supposed to pay the bribe to Taylor on May 7 at her Long Beach office, court papers state.
The taxpayer met with law enforcement on Tuesday, was equipped with recording devices, and was given $5,000 in cash to give to Taylor, the affidavit states. According to a recording of that meeting, Taylor provided adjusted tax records to show a reduction of the taxpayer’s liability to $10,616 as agreed and, in response, the taxpayer handed Taylor an envelope containing $5,000 in cash.
Taylor allegedly took the envelope in one hand, mouthed the word, “Five?” and placed five fingers in the air to non-verbally confirm the amount of cash the taxpayer had just given her. When the taxpayer replied, “Yes, what we agreed on, yep it’s all there,” Taylor placed the envelope on her desk and stated, “We are all done,” the affidavit states.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office. She is extremely competent and well-versed handling bribery cases involving IRS. Although the allegations sound very bad, Taylor is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.