One of the Seattle IRS (Internal Revenue Service) agents was caught accepting the second part of a $20,000 bribe on Monday, September 21. The agent extorted money from a local cannabis business owner in exchange for “help” with cutting tax bills. Paul Hurley, 42, who has been working as an IRS agent since 2009, is now facing three criminal charges for agreeing to receive bribes.
According to the Seattle Times, Hurley was checking tax bills of one of the local marijuana dispensary owner. The IRS agent claimed that the final sum of a tax debt of 2013-2014 is a little over $290,000 and that this number might be a few times bigger, in upwards of $1 million. Meanwhile, business deductions on cannabis are not allowed on federal tax returns. The man offered the dispensary owner to talk “off the record” and told him that he want to receive $20,000 in exchange for a service of this kind.
The legal marijuana dispensary owner refused to pay the bribe at first. But later, the man called Hurley back and set a meeting. In the interim between these two talks the businessman had called local federal authorities and stated about the rascally agent’s crime.
Afterwards, the FBI provided briber’s victim with a quarter of the needed sum. The man has met Hurley and gave him the money. All the details of the meeting and money’s transaction were recorded with audio and video surveillance. Later, the cannabis dispensary owner set the second meeting with the IRS agent and gave him the rest of the bribe. The federal authorities witnessed both meetings and saw the moment when the IRS agent accepted the money.
After the second transaction, Hurley was arrested by the FBI special agents. All the money Hurley received from the victim was hidden inside his backpack. Now, the Seattle IRS agent has to wait for the court decision. According to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Paul Hurley may be punished with up to 15 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. As for his victim, there will be no charges for the dispensary owner.