IRS employee charged with theft of Exxon Mobil tax credit

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A former one tax authorities employee was arrested Utah Federal Court for allegedly attempting to steal $2.1 million in tax credits owed to ExxonMobil by diverting the money using a database of taxpayers to which he had access.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that former IRS account management employee Rodney Quinn Rupe received a U.S. Treasury check for $2,100,377 in January after diverting Exxon tax credits to an entity he created, then attempted to deposit the check to multiple credit unions over the next two months.

Rupe, a 46-year-old living in Syracuse, Utah, is charged with bank fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and theft of government property in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

He will make his first appearance in that court on July 3. The case was highlighted by the legal news website on Thursday Court guard.

Rupe worked at the IRS service center Ogden, Utahin 2021 when he began the diversion plan, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

As part of his job, Rupe “had the ability to adjust taxes, credits, penalties and interest on certain taxpayer accounts in an IRS computer database,” according to the indictment.

Rupe accessed Exxon’s taxpayer account through the IRS database beginning in April 2021, and three months later accessed the database “to assign a newly created Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) to an entity Rupe created and controlled, Ex Xo Exteriors Ltd.,” according to the indictment.

Rupe accessed a database in April 2022 to transfer $2.02 million in tax credits from the tax account of oil and gas giant Exxon to the tax account of Ex Xo Exteriors Ltd., the indictment alleges.

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More than a year later, in August 2023, Rupe “accessed an IRS database to transfer the diverted tax credit funds from one tax year to another,” according to the indictment.

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A month after that, he allegedly applied those tax credits to Ex Xo Exterior’s 2019 tax bill, which led to the IRS issuing a $2.1 million refund to Ex indictment.

He then attempted to deposit the check at multiple America First Credit Union locations.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City, which is prosecuting the case, and Rupe’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for Exxon Mobile declined to comment on the charges.

An IRS spokesperson and a spokesperson for America First Credit Union had no immediate comment.

The Office of the U.S. Inspector General for Tax Administration, which investigated Rupe, said in an email to CNBC: “TIGTA does not comment on investigative matters that are ongoing or pending prosecution by the Department of Justice .”

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