Fake IRS Agent Sentenced for Scamming Free Hotel Stay

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on April 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A woman in her 60's pulled off a two year scam that came to an end on April 20 when she was sentenced to five years probation by Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco, Ca. The clever sexagenarian managed to convince the owners of the Inn Marin in Novato Ca., that she was an IRS agent and was able to continue her stay rent free from 2008, until the jig was up in February of this year. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sherry Lynn Vertoch pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to impersonating a federal officer. Vertoch began staying at the Inn in 2002, and told employees there she was a contractor with the IRS. In 2008, Vertoch stopped paying the bill and told the hotel owners, when pressed for payment, that she would be paid by the IRS when her work was complete and in turn would pay them. She even suggested that her landlords draft a letter to the IRS requesting payment that she would kindly deliver.

According to the Chronicle, Vertoch's public defender told the court that due to her age and ill health (diabetes and high blood pressure) that she might not survive prison. The prosecutors and court agreed justice would be better served by sentencing Vertoch to a long probation, rather than a short jail term. Vertoch will also have to make restitution to the hotel owners in the amount of $55,000. No doubt an actual IRS agent will be visiting her soon to ask about any real taxes she may owe from her pretend employment with that agency.

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