IRS agent faces jail for cheating on taxes
California agent filed fake tax returns for relatives and claimed false deductions for mortgage interest and alimony.
The annual Internal Revenue Service seasonal P.R. campaign to scare taxpayers into properly filing their tax returns is kicking off with an example uncomfortably close to home. California newspapers citing official press releases report that IRS agent Albert Bront, 51, of the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns, not only for himself but for members of his family.
Blont was more creative than many. Sure, he left off income. But according to court documents, he took a $17,000 mortgage interest deduction concerning a house -- a gift from his mother -- that in fact had no mortgage. He claimed a $12,000 deduction for alimony that in fact was not paid.
Other reported ploys included filing phony tax returns in the names of relatives who thought he was just being helpful and pocketing $10,000 in claimed refunds.
It probably didn’t help his cause that when authorities raided his suburban house with a search warrant, he was quoted as yelled, “I’m going to kill you all.” On the property he had three loaded guns and more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
Bront, who has been on unpaid leave from the IRS since that raid in 2009, admitted his culpability via a guilty plea to three tax counts in Los Angeles federal court and was immediately jailed. (Prosecutors gave him a pass on a threatening-federal-agent charge.) Bront agreed to pay $127,000 in restitution. There’s no word on whether he’ll be required to take anger-management courses.
Bront faces up to nine years in jail when he is sentenced on April 13 -- just a few days before the deadline for filing most personal tax returns. That should trigger yet another round of publicity. Even the IRS believes that when you’re stuck with a lemon, make lemonade.
He joins a surprisingly long list of IRS agents who have run afoul of the law. For a slide show of other rogues, click here.
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