Jury Convicts Former IRS Revenue Agent of Accepting Bribe
A former Internal Revenue Service Revenue Agent was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of two felony counts related to receipt of a bribe, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. PAUL G. HURLEY, 43, of Seattle, was convicted following a two day trial. The jury deliberated for three days in reaching its verdict. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour scheduled sentencing for May 13, 2016.
According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, in the summer of 2015 HURLEY was randomly assigned to audit the corporate taxes of Have a Heart Compassion Care, Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary. In a meeting at one of the dispensary locations, HURLEY presented the owner of the dispensary with the findings of the audit. HURLEY indicated to the business owner that he had ‘saved the owner millions’ during the audit and that he lived paycheck to paycheck. HURLEY asked the business owner for $20,000. The business owner and his attorney reported the bribe request to the FBI. Working with law enforcement, the business owner met twice with HURLEY and in recorded conversations delivered cash in marked bills. Some of this cash was seized from HURLEY at the time of his arrest following the second meeting with the business owner.
At the trial, prosecutors noted that HURLEY had written on the audit paperwork that the business owner had no money to pay on his tax bill following the audit, even as HURLEY sought $20,000 to personally benefit from his work as a public employee. “This is a case about what he didn’t do,” prosecutors told the jury, noting that HURLEY had failed to fulfill his duties as a revenue agent during the audit.
HURLEY had been a revenue agent with the IRS since 2009. Receiving a Bribe by a Public Official is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the FBI and by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”).
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin W. Arnold and Francis Franze-Nakamura. Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.