A Seattle Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent has been charged with soliciting a bribe and accepting payment from a local medical cannabis dispensary owner, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Paul Hurley, 42, was charged Monday in U.S. District Court after he allegedly asked for $20,000 cash from a dispensary owner in exchange for giving lenience in a tax audit. Hurley was the first to make contact with the dispensary owner, who didn’t seek leniency themselves.
According to the press release, Hurley presented the owner with a tax bill totaling over $290,000, saying that he had saved the businessman more than $1 million. He then asked for $20,000 in exchange for this help.
The owner quickly contacted authorities, who witnessed a money exchange between the man and the agent. Hurley was arrested after the exchange.
Hurley, who has been with the IRS since 2009, has been charged with three counts of soliciting and agreeing to receive a bribe by a public official. The offenses are punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.