Blasted By Congress, IRS Apologizes For Lavish Events

Source: Gregory Korte / USA Today

WASHINGTON — The tax official responsible for a lavish, $4.1 million conference in Anaheim apologized to Congress for spending at the conference — and for his performance as Mr. Spock in a Star Trek parody video.

“The fact of the matter is, Mr. chairman, it’s embarrassing, I apologize,” Faris Fink said of the two videos produced for the conference at a cost of $50,187.

Fink, the commissioner of the IRS’s Small Business and Self-Employment Division, donned pointy ears for his role as the Vulcan commander on a mission to bring effective tax practices to a faraway planet. That video opened the division’s conference in 2010 — the most expensive of the 225 conferences audited by the IRS’s inspector general in a report this week.

“I swear to God, I have looked at that video over and over again, and I swear I do not see the redeeming value,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating the $49 million in conference spending by the IRS from 2010 to 2012.

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