The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 22, 2013

Former IRS worker gets probation after guilty plea to theft of funds


From staff reports

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg resident and former Internal Revenue Service employee Becky L. Book received two years probation after pleading guilty earlier this year to the theft of $26,449.65 in public funds.

She also has been ordered to repay the money.

Book, 49, was facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 and restitution, according to Jim Cross, a spokesman with the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas.

Book worked as a revenue agent for the IRS from 1991 to 2011.

According to information provided by Cross at the time of her sentencing, Book documented a significant amount of time on her assigned cases that she did not actually work. Further, she prepared 14 travel vouchers that claimed mileage to appointments with taxpayers that she never attended.

An IRS supervisory revenue agent reported the fraudulent reports on March 22, 2011. A subsequent investigation by the Inspector General for Tax Administration confirmed Book had charged 744 hours of time to her cases between March 2010 and April 2011 that she did not actually work. Instead, the report said, she took those hours off as unauthorized personal time.

During an interview by a special agent, Book also admitted to filing fraudulent travel vouchers and falsifying time records to cover for her lack of work, the report said. Further, the investigation revealed Book prepared 14 travel vouchers that claimed fraudulent mileage to appointments with taxpayers that she never attended, for a loss to the government of $528.69.

The total loss to the government was $26,449.65.