Thursday, 18 April 2013

24 IRS workers' theft: Federal employees illegally receiving government benefits

24 IRS workers' theft: Federal employees illegally receiving government benefits, In a disturbing story of government abuse, twenty-four current and former employees of the Internal Revenue Service were charged with stealing government benefits, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

ABC News carried the April 17 Associated Press release, which stated the employees have been indicted on illegally receiving benefits that totaled over $250,000. According to the U.S. attorney's office, the Treasury Department employees illegally received unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare assistance and housing vouchers.

Out of the two dozen employees charged, 13 allegedly lied about their income levels in order to receive unemployment benefits. Each face up to five years in prison if convicted.

"While these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers," U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton said in a statement.

The employees charged are all residents of Memphis, Jackson, Tenn., and Southaven, Miss. and range in ages from 28 to 64. Eleven others face lesser state felony charges of theft, which carry potential fines and probation.

"The taxes that we pay are supposed to support our nation and assist individuals in need, not free-loaders who are gaming the system," said Amy Weirich, the district attorney for Shelby County.

The news of the misconduct comes at a time when the budget for government agencies and workers has been cut by millions in order to attempt to balance federal spending.

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