Federal income tax season is once again upon us, gentle readers, and…well, read it for yourself, via Forbes:
As tax filing season gets underway, the IRS and Justice Department normally roll out enforcement examples of tax cheats who are caught and brought to justice. These accounts probably have some deterrent effect, particularly for taxpayers who are huddled over their tax returns. Let’s see, should you claim that iffy deduction? But this isn’t the usually timed story. Jack Vitayanon, an attorney adviser in the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School, has been arrested and charged with conspiring with others to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine.
As detailed in the complaint, Mr. Vitayanon conspired with others in Arizona and on Long Island to distribute meth for several years. Vitayanon recently negotiated with undercover special agents and shipped 460 grams of meth from his apartment in Washington D.C. to Long Island via Federal Express. The recipient of the package, acting at the direction of law enforcement, recorded an online video chat with Vitayanon on December 15, 2016 and during the recorded conversation Vitayanon was observed in his residence smoking what appeared to be meth from a glass pipe, according to the complaint.
A search of the defendant’s Washington D.C. apartment executed pursuant to a court-authorized search warrant led to the seizure of additional quantities of suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and drug ledgers. “As alleged, the defendant – a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility – broke bad and supplemented his income by selling distribution quantities of methamphetamine,” stated United States Attorney Capers. “The defendant will now be held to account for his alleged criminal conduct.”
The IRS said it could not comment on “specific personnel matters.” But the agency said it held its employees to “high standards and does not tolerate inappropriate behavior.” If there were questions about an employee’s conduct, the agency said it would work with law enforcement. Notably, of course, the charges in the complaint are merely allegations. Like all criminal defendants, this defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty. The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Section. Assistant United States Attorney Charles N. Rose is in charge of the prosecution.
Of course the IRS maintains “high standards and does not tolerate inappropriate behavior,” like destroying documents and lying to Congress and such things. Keep in mind the Office of Professional Responsibility in government agencies is the Internal Affairs section, the people responsible for ensuring everyone working there obeys the law and upholds professional ethics.
Why, gentle readers, are we not surprised? If Mr. Trump wishes to restore faith in government, this gentleman, upon conviction, will be immediately fired, instead of like too many government employees under Barack Obama, promoted and/or given a hefty bonus. One would also hope the entire IRS Office of Professional Responsibility has not been criminally compromised. After all, drug dealers work where there is a market for their products. Hmmm. Perhaps some law enforcement agency ought to be looking into that…?
I’ll keep my ears open for those sweet–and previously all too rare–words: “you’re fired!”