Busted! Crooked IRS Agent Pushed Shady Mortgage Refinancings
by Byrne Hobart
Let’s say you’ve got a steady job, a good income, people have to trust you (whether they like it or not), and you’re handling lots of other people’s money. What do you do? If you’re Mark Claybrooks, you start a sleazy scheme for defrauding people and taking bribes. Usually when you take bribes, you’ll get nailed by the government; they usually catch you by checking up on your taxes. Mark was safe from the IRS, for one simple reason — he worked there
According to one source, Claybrooks made $20,000 on the scheme — at least, that’s how much they caught him for. But the scheme lasted for several years, and those numbers are for just two people who got taken in.
The way it worked was simple: Claybrooks would contact people who owed the IRS money, and would kindly suggest that they refinance their mortgages to get better treatment. He also suggested that they use a company called Faith Mortgage, which — in a show of good faith, perhaps? — was giving Claybrooks a referral fee on every new customer he got them. Prior to joining the IRS, he happened to work for Faith Mortgage directly.
This story comes via Kay Bell’s excellent “Don’t Mess With Taxes.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, he still works at the IRS.