IRS Apologies for Extravagant Conference, Spending

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A senior IRS official has apologized to Congress for wasting taxpayer dollars at an employee conference.

The IRS spent over $4 million at a training event in Anaheim, Calif., three years ago. The perks included tickets to Los Angeles baseball games and $64,000 worth of gifts for attendees.
The tax agency also spent $50,000 to produce a "Star Trek" video and another video of IRS agents dancing.

The House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.,  called the spending "maliciously self-indulgent."

Faris Fink, the IRS official who played Spock in the Star Trek video, faced the wrath of Congress Thursday. And, it came from both sides of the aisle.

"I have looked at those videos over and over again and I swear I do not see the redeeming value," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said.

"What were you thinking? Were you thinking this will never be seen?" Issa said.

"Frankly, they were not appropriate at that time neither mr. chairman and the fact of the matter is it's embarrassing and I apologize," Fink replied.

The IRS spent $49 million on 225 employee conferences over the past three years.

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