Politics
The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  

Inspector general: IRS credit cards used to purchase porn

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The IRS has a porn problem.

The inspector general’s office at the tax collection agency released a report Tuesday detailing questionable expenses that appeared on IRS credit cards, including several purchases of online pornography.

The report stated that internal investigators “identified two purchase cardholders with charges on their purchase cards from merchants affiliated with online pornography. … Each of these cardholders reported their card stolen or compromised, one on multiple occasions, and had the charge for pornography credited to the purchase card account.”

The investigators, however, stated that it was “not determined as part of this audit whether or not the employees actually purchased the pornography and falsely reported the cards stolen or compromised.”

They expressed skepticism of that claim, since one of the cardholders had said five of seven credit cards they had had been missing.

“Cardholders claiming numerous cards as lost or stolen, particularly those with potentially fraudulent charges incurred, is a red flag that should trigger further review by the IRS,” the report continued. “In the case of both of the pornography charges, the cardholders did not inform [the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] of the fraudulent purchases on their accounts as required.”

The report also noted that one of the cardholders is still employed by the IRS.

J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, concluded in a statement that the agency does not adequately have in place a system for finding out whether employees are improperly using agency-issued cards.

“Inadequate procedures to identify, report, and address inappropriate use leave the IRS purchase card program vulnerable to repeated violations of applicable laws and regulations,” George said. “While the majority of IRS cardholders appear to use their purchase cards properly, TIGTA’s audit identified some troubling instances of inappropriate usage.”

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