IRS Secretary Allegedly Embezzles $8,515 For Online Shopping Spree
The Internal Revenue Service is already on trial for applying special scrutiny to conservative groups' applications for tax exempt status. Now an individual IRS worker is facing a possible 10-year prison sentence for allegedly using her government credit card to go on shopping binges at Amazon.
Yetunde Oseni, 37, a secretary at an IRS office in Lanham, Md., was given an IRS credit card in mid-2009, according to a U.S. District Court felony complaint that was reported by The Smoking Gun. She then allegedly used the card to buy an array of eccentric purchases online, including stretch leggings, a Hello Kitty cosmetic set, two plus-size trench coats, a chocolate fondue fountain, Omaha Steaks, "and other items not used by the IRS," the complaint states. In May, she was charged with embezzling government funds.
Her online haul allegedly totalled $8,515. She's currently out on bond, and is scheduled for a hearing in June.
embezzler is most likely to be a female in her 40s, a bookkeeper and without a criminal record -- because women are more likely to be bookkeepers, and seasoned workers are more likely to have access to a company's cash. Since the financial crisis, embezzlement cases have been on the rise, Marquet found, noting that the number of new arrests or indictments of workers has been growing by 10 percent a year since 2010.
Marquet was only analyzing embezzlement cases in which at least $100,000 was stolen, however. And it's unlikely that Oseni, who allegedly provided IRS officials with doctored receipts, could have slipped that chunk of change under the eyes of supervisors.
According to The Smoking Gun, Oseni struggled to manage her finances -- even with those extra government funds. In June 2011, she filed for bankruptcy, citing debts in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. But a judge dismissed her case when she failed for file the necessary documents.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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