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Former tax collector charged in fraud scheme
BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities charged a former employee of the national tax-collection agency with fraud Thursday, accusing him of stealing $330,000 in goods from stores and then returning them for store credit.
Prosecutors said Robert Dooley, a former Internal Revenue Service clerk, carried out the operation at Home Depot Inc.stores in nine states from 2002 through 2005.
According to papers filed in Boston federal court, Dooley preyed upon a store policy that allowed customers to return merchandise without a receipt if they showed photo identification. He would show store clerks his IRS badge and on occasion said that as an IRS employee he was "trustworthy," prosecutors alleged.
Home Depot stores issued store credit in the form of plastic cards, which Dooley would then sell or trade.
Dooley, who would gather merchandise and go straight to the returns counter without paying, was arrested in October 2005 and has been in prison for a prior conviction since that time.
If convicted on all 12 counts of wire fraud, Dooley faces up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.
An attorney representing Dooley could not be reached for comment.
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