Cross-Dressing IRS Agent Claims Vindictive Prosecution

A Pennsylvania cross-dresser is accusing his employer, the Internal Revenue Service, of singling him out for prosecution because of his extracurricular activities and his plans to have a sex-change operation, the Times Leader of Northeastern Pennsylvania reported.

In 2002, a federal grand jury indicted Edward F. Snarski II, 53, of Wilkes-Barre, of mail fraud, bank fraud and misuse of a Social Security number, the Times Leader reported.

Snarski, an IRS agent, is seeking dismissal of the charges, claiming the U.S. Attorney's Office went forward with the prosecution because the IRS "did not want a transsexual as an employee." He is asking a judge to dismiss the case based on legal doctrine known as "vindictive and selective" prosecution, the Times Leader reported.

Prosecutors allege that Snarski used his daughter's Social Security number and posed as a fictitious person, Erica Edwards, to fraudulently secure loads totaling $22,463 from several area banks, the Times Leader reported, adding that second March 2003 indictment included additional charges of identity fraud, bankruptcy fraud and false statements.

The money was paid back in full so there are no theft charges pending, which is a key point in the motion to dismiss filed last Thursday by his attorney federal Public Defender Melinda Ghilardi.

In a vindictive-prosecution claim, the defendant must show the prosecution of him is being undertaken to penalize him or her for invoking a "legally protected right," Ghilardi wrote in her motion to dismiss.

"The decision whether to prosecute may not be based on an unjustifiable standard such as race, religion or other arbitrary classification," Ghilardi wrote. "The prosecution subjected (Snarski) to heightened scrutiny and to criminal prosecution when it otherwise would not simply based upon his sexual orientation and identification."

Contacted Friday, Fran Sempa, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, said he will soon file a reply denying Snarski's allegations and asking a judge to dismiss the motion, the Times Leader reported.

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