Fernando Hernandez is a 33-year-old Internal Revenue Service employee working out of the Dallas office. Only, today he's in federal custody after having been arrested by federal authorities, who dropped by Friday morning following a Dallas federal grand jury's decision to indict Hernandez for just offering to help out a poor soul who didn't want the IRS peeking at his tax return. Oh, can you hear the drums, Fernando?
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The indictment charges Hernandez with one count of receiving a bribe by a public official and aiding and abetting. It alleges that in June 2005, Hernandez sought and accepted a $2000 cash payment from a U.S. taxpayer in return for Hernandez' promise that he would ensure that no IRS representative would audit that taxpayer's return.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, Hernandez faces a maximum statutory sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.