Authorities charge 24 IRS workers with theft

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say 24 current and former Internal Revenue Service employees have been charged with stealing government benefits.

The U.S. attorney's office in Memphis said Wednesday that the IRS employees were indicted on charges that they fraudulently received more than $250,000 in government benefits including unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers.

Prosecutors say 13 of the IRS employees face federal charges of lying about being unemployed while applying for or recertifying their government benefits. Eleven others face state charges of theft of property over $1,000.

U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton accused those charged of stealing from American taxpayers.

Prosecutors canceled a news conference to announce the indictments. U.S. attorney's office spokesman Rodney King said the cancellation was due to "unforeseen events." He did not elaborate.


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