You can’t take a California woman across state lines to engage in prostitution. That’s the lesson learned by a former agent of the Internal Revenue Service, who was sentenced earlier this year to two years in prison for that very act. He entered a plea agreement last November, voluntarily disclosing his participation in the crime.
You might have thought he would have known better, since this wasn’t his first run-in with prostitution. As an agent in the 1990s, he was part of an IRS investigation into a then-operating brothel whose name, the Mustang Ranch, appeared to lightheartedly disguise it as a horse farm.
Then, six years ago, perhaps calling on his experience gathered from his time as an investigator, he attempted to set up his own brothel with a partner in a neighboring state. The plan fell through when county authorities turned down their application.
The agent clearly knew that some parts of Nevada permit prostitution. But he appeared to have overlooked one crucial legal mot: prostitution there is fine, but it’s illegal when crossing the state line.
Alexander Pope once famously wrote, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” The caution impliedly urged by that line hints that we may often engage in activities of which we have incomplete knowledge, leading to potentially harmful results, such as federal crimes and significant prison sentences.
Time spent in prison can be by itself an extremely taxing affair. But in addition to the two-year sentence, the judge also imposed 250 hours of community service and a 10-year period of supervised release.
Source: Associated Press, “Ex-IRS agent gets prison for prostitution charge,” Joyce Lupiani, March 6, 2012.