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IRS agent indicted in refi scheme

Talk about your major conflict of interest!

An IRS agent who worked for a mortgage company on the side allegedly pressured delinquent taxpayers whom he was investigating to go to his other employer to refinance their mortgages so they could get enough cash to pay their tax bills.

According to court filings, Mark Claybrooks of Brentwood, Calif., worked as an IRS revenue officer in Walnut Creek, Calif., contacting people whose federal tax bills were overdue. From 2003 to 2005, he also worked for Faith Mortgage Group in Antioch Calif., refinancing residential loans.

The indictment handed up last week alleges that from 2002 to 2008, the 41-year-old Claybrooks recommended to at least two people that they "pay off delinquent federal income tax obligations by refinancing with Faith Mortgage Group."

Claybrooks is officially charged with three counts of "acts affecting a personal financial interest" and two counts of fraud for allegedly using IRS computers without authorization.

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle, WebCPA and the Contra Costa Times.


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