Home / Blog / Article


December 21 2015

Would You Buy a Used Car from this Moonlighting IRS Agent?

Patrice J. Lee

Meet an IRS employee who also owns a used car dealership which she reportedly admits using to cheat dozens of poor customers looking for a deal.

Gina Colombo worked at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Phoenix, AZ, but she co-owned the dealership with her husband. She specialized on non-English speaking customers who were

At the IRS Center Colombo likely helped with tax letters, arranging payment plans, provide copies of past tax returns, and other services that should help taxpayers navigate the labyrinth that is the IRS. Earning upwards of about $45,000 Colombo has been with the IRS since 1998.

Meanwhile, Colombo and her husband, who currently works for another auto dealership, opened an auto shop were targeted non-English speakers. They admitted that they lured in customers with misleading advertisements and they allegedly were not candid about the condition of the merchandise. Then they apparently overcharged on license and registration fees, creating fake contracts, and failed to honor warranties. They also stand accused of holding onto down payments even when the customer ultimately decided against buying the car.

The two faced a consumer-fraud lawsuit with the state, which they settled. Instead of paying what should have been in the neighborhood of more than $300,000 in fees to the state, they are paying $70,000 in restitution and another $30,000 in penalties (at least) to settle the lawsuit. It appears that Colombo was n

USA Today reports on their misdeeds:

Colombo opened Uncle Joe's three years later in February 2014. It stayed in business for just eight months and racked up dozens of consumer complaints, including 30 with the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

According to the Attorney General's Office, Colombo and Carrecia frequently baited customers through Craigslist advertisements as "a ploy to get consumers to come and look at other available motor vehicles on their lot."

The lawsuit said Colombo and her husband convinced customers to buy vehicles with promises to make repairs that were never completed. The lawsuit also accused them of overcharging customers hundreds of dollars in license, filing, registration and other fees.

We don’t like the idea of Ms. Colombo having access to the kind of private information that the IRS collects.  She has been banned from selling cars, but we can't find anything that tells us she has been fired by the IRS.

It's apparently difficult to remove a federal worker from her job, even if she has done something as dishonest as this. There is a culture in some federal agencies turns a blind eye to behavior that might get a pink slip in the private sector and may even encourage irresponsibility or misbehavior by sending them on paid leave during a long drawn out period of investigation

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
Follow us