Four men have been arrested on charges stemming from alleged bribery schemes within the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, authorities announced Thursday.
A federal grand jury last week returned a sealed indictment alleging three of the men — including a former city tax official and a former employee of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs — engaged in a conspiracy to reduce a business’s tax liabilities. In a separate indictment, a fourth suspect was alleged to have sought to broker bribes of a tax official on behalf of business owners.
Vincent Slater, 41, of Temple Hills, Md.; Anthony Merritt, 44, of the District; and Andre de Moya, 46, of Brookeville, Md., were arrested Wednesday and each charged with counts of conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud, according to the D.C. inspector general’s office.
Slater, a former supervisor in the Office of Tax and Revenue, was accused of arranging for bribe payments with the help of Merritt, who worked at DCRA, the inspector general’s office said. Prosecutors say he then eliminated the tax liabilities of businesses owned by de Moya and others.
In another indictment, Bobby Tucker, 63, of Suffolk, Va., was accused of having tried to arrange bribery agreements with the tax office on behalf of businesses. Tucker was arrested and charged with a count of bribery.
Slater, Merritt, de Moya and Tucker could not be reached for comment.
In a statement, D.C. Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas praised the District’s chief financial officer — who oversees the tax office — for alerting Lucas’s investigators when fraud was suspected.
A spokesman for Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey S. DeWitt said the office’s systems to safeguard against fraud “identified what was going on and we referred it to law enforcement.”