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Event Planner Sought To Keep Booze Charges Off IRS Officials' Bills

Event planner sought to keep "after hours party" beer and wine costs hidden for two officials suspended for accepting gifts in 2010.

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Susan Walsh, File / AP

FILE - This March 22, 2103 file photo shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. Experts say the Internal Revenue Service’s improper treatment of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status stems partly from its having to enforce conflicting laws vaguely describing the activities that such organizations may conduct.

WASHINGTON — An event planner who provided IRS officials with more than $1,100 in food asked the hotel hosting the conference to not include additional charges for alcohol paid for by the two men to not be included in their official hotel bill.

The IRS this week put two senior officials, including one who is in charge of implementing Obamacare, on administrative leave after the gifts were disclosed. The Department of Justice has opted to not prosecute the two officials.

Although the two men, Frederick Schindler and Donald Toda, appear to have paid for it themselves rather than charging the government, congressional aides said documents obtained as part of an investigation into the IRS appear to show an effort to hide the expenses from the government.

According to an email obtained by BuzzFeed about the event, the after-hours party was for 18 people. The event organizer appears to have arranged to pay for food and bartender fees, while "the beer and wine will be paid by a credit card given to you at the end of the function by Mr. Donald Toda or Fred Schindler do not post to room it can't be shown as room charge … Mr. Toda knows he is buying the booze and you shouldn't have to."

A congressional investigator not involved in the IRS case said it appears Toda and Schindler, while not necessarily violating any rules by paying for the beer and wine themselves, were hoping to avoid their supervisors from seeing the cost of the libations.

Meanwhile, a copy of the receipt obtained by investigators shows attendees at the party were treated to a variety of foods, including separate $165 charges for spring rolls, shrimp BLTS, lamp chops, and organic chicken, $120 worth of artesian cheeses, and $96 in organic vegetables.

John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.

Contact John Stanton at

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