Former Seattle IRS agent to face trial on bribery charge

AP News
Posted: Feb 07, 2016 2:30 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — A former IRS agent in Seattle is set to face trial this week on accusations that he solicited a $20,000 bribe from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Federal prosecutors say that after Paul G. Hurley audited Have A Heart Compassion Care in Seattle last summer, he told its owner that he had saved him $1 million — and suggested that in return the owner, Ryan Kunkel, should pay off his student debt.

Prosecutors say Kunkel agreed to pay Hurley $20,000 instead, but then he reported Hurley's actions to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Court documents say FBI agents observed and recorded two meetings at a Starbucks where Kunkel handed over the cash.

Hurley's attorneys, John Henry Browne and Michael Lee, say their client denies soliciting a bribe. Instead, they say, Kunkel offered him a job to perform accounting services, and the $20,000 payment had no impact on Hurley's official duties.