IRS Atty ‘Broke Bad,’ Sold Meth In The Mail, Say Prosecutors

From Law360

Law360, Los Angeles (February 1, 2017, 7:21 PM EST) — An attorney for the Internal Revenue Service had “better call Saul” after prosecutors on Wednesday arrested and charged the former Debevoise & Plimpton LLP associate and Georgetown Law ethics teacher with conspiring to ship distribution levels of methamphetamine to Long Island from his apartment in Washington, D.C.
Jack Vitayanon, who works for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility, “broke bad,” coordinating with parties in Arizona and New York to sell meth for extra money, according to the government. He ran the scheme for a few years, including sending nearly 500 grams of the drug, prosecutors said in a statement.

An undercover Homeland Security Investigations special agent recorded a video chat with the IRS lawyer in December during which Vitayanon smoked what looked like meth from a glass pipe, according to prosecutors. And the agent negotiated with Vitayanon to buy a package to be shipped via FedEx to Long Island, the government said.

“Selling methamphetamine is a serious crime which is made more egregious when it is committed by a U.S. government attorney assigned to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the IRS,” Angel M. Melendez, special agent-in-charge, said in a statement. “People that sell this highly addictive and destructive drug must be brought to justice before more lives are lost to this epidemic.”

Vitayanon, 41, was arrested Monday morning in Washington, D.C., according to U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of New York’s Eastern District. He had negotiated via phone calls and video chats and consummated the sale of distribution quantities of meth to the undercover agents, prosecutors said.

Authorities found more meth, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials and drug ledgers during a search of Vitayanon’s apartment in D.C., prosecutors said.

Vitayanon was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, according to his LinkedIn page, where he was co-teaching a course on tax lawyering and professional responsibility in a federal tax practice, an ethics class. His profile page on Georgetown’s website has since been deleted.

Before joining the IRS, he had been an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton and Kostelanetz & Fink LLP, working on government investigations and white collar defense matters, according to his profile.

The case is being handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie N. Rose.

Counsel information for Vitayanon couldn’t be immediately determined, and case number information wasn’t immediately available Wednesday.

–Editing by Jack Karp.

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Written by Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL is a Miami-based law firm focused on providing comprehensive legal support to individuals and corporate entities caught up in tax controversies or charged with a criminal act. As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.