According to US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, fourteen people were charged with tax fraud for using the first-time homebuyers credit to steal money from the federal government. Is it just me, or will this not do much to help the IRS’s image?
One of those charged is a long-time IRS agent, Michael Doyle, of New Hampshire. He allegedly falsely claimed that he bought a home in 2008 to qualify for the credit, but actually purchased the property in 2007, Ortiz's office said. Doyle, 44, could not immediately be reached for comment, and an IRS official could not say whether Doyle still works for the federal agency.
Two other defendants, Junior Lopez of Southbridge, and Christopher Proe of Michigan, allegedly filed more than 50 fraudulent tax returns, receiving about $500,000 in refunds, prosecutors said. Proe and Lopez also could not immediately be reached for comment.
"It is critically important that taxpayers who play by the rules do not end up paying for refunds to people who commit fraud and blatantly lie on the forms submitted to the IRS,'' Ortiz said in a prepared statement.
J. Russell George, the Treasury's inspector general for tax administration, said it is "especially troubling" when an IRS agent is implicated in a fraud case. "Congress created and modified the home buyer credit to stimulate and help taxpayers achieve the America Dream, not to line the pockets of wrongdoers,'' George said.