A 55-year-old Lowell chiropractor was arrested Thursday on a charge of bribing an IRS auditor to ignore two improper deductions -- payoffs to two women he inappropriately touched during medical appointments -- on his 2011 income-tax form.
A probable-cause hearing is scheduled for March 5 in U.S. District Court, according to U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
Stephen D. Jacobs, of Lowell, is charged with bribery of a public official. The complaint alleges Jacobs paid an auditor $5,000 in cash to ignore the deductions, which were in fact payments Jacobs made to two different women because he touched them inappropriately during medical treatments in 2011 and 2012.
Jacobs could not be reached for comment at his Lowell office, his cellphone or via email.
According to court documents, an IRS agent was assigned to examine Jacob's federal income-tax form for 2011. The agent reviewed a number of issues, including Jacob's student-loan expenses, business expenses, gross receipts, bank statements and other expenses.
Before their initial meeting, Jacobs allegedly called the agent to confirm the appointment. During the conversation, Jacobs inquired whether the agent had the authority to handle issues on his own.
During the Aug. 6 meeting at Jacobs' office at 16 Pine St., Lowell, several expenses were questioned. Jacobs allegedly admitted he made $5,000 in payments to two different women because he touched them inappropriately during medical-treatment sessions in 2011 and 2012, according to court documents.
When the agent disallowed the expenses, Jacobs allegedly became agitated and asked the agent, in essence, if there were anything he could do for him.
Jacobs allegedly asked, "... you are on the front line, can't we just deal with this...''
On Aug. 13, the agent made a recorded call to Jacobs, advising him they could deal with the $5,000 payments to the women at their next meeting.
During a Sept. 25 meeting, Jacobs was told the $5,000 in payments to the women were disallowed expenses. When the agent then requested other documentation for other personal and motor-vehicle expenses, Jacobs became upset, saying, "...do you want a bribe. Do you want me to pay you..."
The agent acknowledged he was willing to accept cash to terminate the examination. Jacobs allegedly offered the agent $5,000 to end the examination. They agreed to meet later that day to complete the transaction.
Later that day, at a meeting telectronically recorded by video and audio, Jacob allegedly paid the agent $5,000 in cash and the agent handed over a "no-change" audit letter.