Eavesdropping devices helped officials catch eight Chicago IRS employees were allegedly were taking bribes in exchange for offering certain taxpayers breaks on paying their income tax.
The eight were placed on paid, administrative leave until further notice. While one agent was taped discussing a $25,000 payment, a source close to the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the payment actually was less than $100.
At least two of the eight became informants and wore recording equipment on-site. The sources also said the investigation has been going on for 18 months, and if indicted, would mark the first major corruption charge against IRS employees since the IRS Reform and Restructuring Act was passed in 1998.
Prosecutors also are investigating accountants and possibly others in similar payoffs who may have made deals on behalf of their clients.