On Thursday, authorities arrested Herbert Wein, 67, of New York, a veteran auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, after he accepted a $200,000 bribe from an attorney from the Wego Chemical and Mineral Corporation, a company that he was auditing.
According to the New York Times report, Mr. Wein allegedly solicited the bribe initially back in November when he suggested to Stephen Gilbert, Wego Chemical's lawyer, that the company's tax liability could be reduced from $1.2 million to $15,000, in exchange for a $200,000 payment to Wein.
Mr. Gilbert immediately contacted and agreed to cooperate with authorities. In December, Mr. Gilbert informed Mr. Wein that the payment seemed excessive, at which point Mr. Wein allegedly inferred that the tax liability could now go as high as $4 million.
After several meetings at which the payment was allegedly negotiated, yesterday was the payoff day, and Mr. Wein was immediately arrested.
"Herbert Wein abused his position of authority to line his own pockets," Alan Vinegrad, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
Authorities described this case as the single largest known bribery payment ever received by an IRS employee.