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Extortion and The IRS: Seattle Agent Busted for Accepting Bribes

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A Seattle-based Internal Revenue Service agent toiling at the local branch was caught Green handed and is now staring down the barrel of some rather stiff criminal charges after getting caught trying to extort some serious cash from the owner of a local dispensary.

According to the intriguing and sorted tale about greed and corruption in the Seattle Times, a local IRS agent, Paul Hurley, is taking the path less traveled by most government employees, and is headed to federal prison for cultivating a plot to extract a substantial sum of money from a dispensary owner, claiming he’d helped with the dispensary’s overdue tax bill.

The United States attorney’s office is claiming that Hurley gave the pot-shop owner documents indicating a tax obligation to the IRS for both 2013 and 2014 – totaling just north of $ 285,000 – suggesting the financial obligation could have been significantly higher (close to $ 1 million) if not for his help.

Shortly after the initial contact, Hurley requested $ 20,000 for his less than altruistic interest in the shop owners tax dilemma. As should be expected, the dispensary owner declined to participate in the agent’s quest for free cash – only to eventually cave-in and make a deal.

Learn more about the IRS and marijuana tax issues

Blinded by greed, Hurley was completely unaware the owner of the dispensary had notified the feds as Hurley exited the Seattle shop. Now working together, federal agents and the owner setup the rouge IRS agent in a corruption-ending sting operation.

With cash and surveillance equipment provided by the FBI, the dispensary owner handed over $ 5,000 as the first installment on the bribe at their initial meeting – of course the FBI was there to witness Hurley accept the owners down payment.

Then on September 21, a second meeting was scheduled to take place in which the agent was scheduled to receive his final $ 15,000 extortion payment from the owner. After the deed was done the waiting FBI personnel took Hurley into custody, locating all of the dirty money hidden inside the agent’s backpack.

Potentially facing up to 15 years in a federal penitentiary, Hurley is now looking at three charges of soliciting and receiving a bribe by a public official. If found guilty of these offenses, Hurley could also be looking at fines totaling nearly $ 250,000.

Good.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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