Multiple Travis County Tax Office employees arrested for alleged fraudulent activities

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Multiple employees from the Travis County Tax Office were arrested Friday on suspicion of fraudulent activities.

According to a statement from Travis County Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Elfant, investigators from the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived Friday afternoon at both the main office and satellite office to serve search warrants and arrest employees.

The investigation began as a result of an internal audit conducted by the Travis County Auditor, Elfant said.

“Since this is an ongoing investigation, I am not able to discuss any further details. However, please know I am appalled and extremely disappointed that members of my staff have been implicated in fraudulent activities that have violated the trust of Travis County residents,” Elfant said.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said in a statement she was “deeply troubled” when informed of the arrests and spoke with Elfant as the arrests occurred.

“Travis County is in full cooperation with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to address the issue and restore the public trust,” Eckhardt said.

According to Elfant, all satellite county tax offices are closed until further notice. However, the main tax office will remain open.

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  1. The tax and appraisal office have been crooked for a long time.. They have been jacking up appraisals and probably pocketing the money. We all prob deserve refunds going back many years. I wonder how many were actually arrested.

  2. If the fraudulent activities have any thing to do with VOTING the Travis County Tax Assessor Collector and the Travis County Judge, both Democrats, are sure to find a way to minimumize the charges – maybe just a slap on the wrist.

  3. Thanks for the id0tic comment of the day. Democrats don’t need to engage in voter fraud in Travis as Travis is already majority Democrat. If anything it was a bunch of hillbilly Republicans trying to commit voter fraud sort of like how you all draw district lines to keep your dying party in power.

  4. This fraud has to do the Motor Vehicle Division of the Travis County Tax Assessor Collector’s office.

    A group of employees of the Motor Vehicle Division has a scheme whereby they would amend or change or tamper with the documents signed by the seller and the buyer of a “private party motor vehicle sale” title transaction. The buyer of the vehicle and the one seeking title to the vehicle pays the state motor vehicle sale tax as well as other fees to the TAC employee. The employee then changes the numbers on the official; signed form on the amount of tax paid to a lower number than what the title applicant paid and pockets the difference.

    The director of this Motor Vehicle Division resigned his or her position a short while before the investigation broke to the media. I think Law Enforcement agents of the State of Texas and the County of Travis should find this resigned employee and do a full investigation of that person and possibly arrest that person as well. (Since this may involve a racketeering/organized crime charge, this may also involve federal law enforcement also.)

    That person who was the director of the Motor Vehicle Division of TAC was not doing their job properly, and perhaps was negligent in their duties deliberately as a participant in the fraudulent scheme. There should have been strong “internal controls” of all employees handling cash from “customers.” Only supervisors or division director should be able to authorize any modification or “tampering” to an official form and must sign off on such changes. This internal accounting control was not in place and I wonder if that lack of proper internal controls for cash handling applies to all offices of the entire Travis County Tax Assessor’s Office .

    The Tax Assessor Collector and the County Auditor’s office should have installed all appropriate internal accounting controls many years ago. Was that not done? Why?

    Lots of culpability all the way up and down the chain of command.

    It is planned that we the people will never get full disclosure of all information about this matter and this entire incident will be covered up.

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Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor for Community Impact's Central Austin edition. He graduated in 2011 from Boston University and worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in January of 2018.
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