U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


July 26, 2018

Former IRS Employee Pleads Guilty for Impersonating a Federal Official During Traffic Stops

On May 15, 2018, in the District of New Jersey, former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee Deon Owensby pled guilty to the misuse of an official badge, identification card, or other insignia. Owensby was initially charged with the offense in a criminal complaint filed on January 5, 2018.

According to the court documents, the IRS had previously employed Owensby as an attorney in Trenton, New Jersey, from about March 2010 until April 2015. During his employment, the IRS issued to Owensby an IRS Pocket Commission, which IRS employees use as a means of identifying themselves to the public when performing their official duties. When Owensby separated from employment with the IRS in April 2015, he was obligated to return all IRS property, including the IRS Pocket Commission. However, Owensby told his supervisor that his Pocket Commission had been stolen.

Between August 2015 and April 2017, law enforcement stopped Owensby on three separate occasions for traffic infractions. Each time, Owensby possessed and displayed his IRS Pocket Commission to the law enforcement officers who conducted the stops. One officer pointed out that the Pocket Commission was expired, but Owensby falsely claimed that it was still valid. Owensby intentionally did not return the Pocket Commission to the IRS after his employment ended, but instead kept and used it until about January 8, 2018, when law enforcement officials seized the IRS Pocket Commission pursuant to a warrant.

Owensby could face a maximum of six months' imprisonment followed by up to five years' probation and a fine of $5,000.

Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: D.N.J. Crim. Compl. filed Jan. 5, 2018; D.N.J. Information filed May 15, 2018; D.N.J. Application for Permission to Enter Plea of Guilty filed May 15, 2018; D.N.J. Plea Agr. filed May 15, 2018.