Alabama runaround: News 4 confronts IRS employee accused of stealing information

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by Chris Nagus/ News 4 Investigates

KMOV.com

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 11:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 11:20 PM

(KMOV.com) -- A News 4 investigation has exposed a woman accused of stealing taxpayer information by using her position as an employee at the St. Louis IRS branch.

News 4’s Chris Nagus traveled down to Birmingham, Alabama, in search of Demetria Brown who was accused of filing $326,000 worth of bogus tax returns. In 2012, the IRS paid out $4 billion worth of phony returns, which ultimately screws up the lives of hard working people like Lenora Walker.

Walker said her identity has been stolen twice.

“Somebody has used my social security number the last two years,” Walker said, “They keep telling me they don’t have the information about who it is.”

Taxpayers might assume it is some anonymous internet thief, but in the case of Demetria Brown, the theft comes from inside the IRS.

According to Brown’s bond release agreement, she no longer lives in St. Louis, but with her mother in Birmingham.

News 4’s Chris Nagus talked to Brown’s mother who said she didn’t know anything about her daughter’s whereabouts. Chris attempted to call Brown’s phone, but no one answered. But a few minutes later a woman who looked like Brown made a run from the house.

A few minutes later, Brown called back, saying the whole situation was a case of mistaken identity. Brown refused to do an interview with News 4.

The IRS would not comment on what safeguards are in place to prevent this type of theft. 

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