Taxman faces seven years in computer scam

Taxman faces seven years in computer scam

A former IRS agent faces a seven-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $450,000 after pleading guilty to three felonies in a computer fraud and graft scheme.

Humberto 'Bert' Gonzalez of Casselberry, Fla., was a senior revenue officer at the IRS' Maitland, Fla., office.

According to the Justice Department, he developed a personal relationship with a businesswoman who owed the government taxes.

'During the relationship Gonzalez used his position to improperly close her account as 'currently not collectible,' ' the U.S. Attorney's Office in Orlando said in a statement. 'This resulted in an estimated loss to the government of $32,000.'

Between 1997 and 1999, Gonzalez improperly used the IRS' Integrated Data Retrieval System 66 times to access the accounts of 20 taxpayers. Gonzalez received favors from taxpayers for canceling their tax debts, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of computer fraud and two other violations in December, and he likely will be sentenced this month, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said.

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