According to new reports, an IRS revenue officer has been charged by the U.S. Attorney's office for stealing unclaimed tax refunds. Fern Stephens allegedly took over $160,000 from the government agency over the past year. For an agency as unpopular as the IRS, this is not the best PR they’ve ever had.
If convicted of all counts of mail fraud, theft of government funds, and unlawful access of a government computer, Stephens faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
In one instance the U.S. Attorney's office accuses Stephens of duping $3,340 from a Manhattan-based bankrupt company by claiming that the principal of the business asked for the money by the IRS and then pocketing it herself.
Stephens also allegedly took advantage of her position in the IRS to put in fake tax refund requests and transfers in an IRS computer system so the money would go right back to her or relatives and friends.