The tax commissioner’s office fired Harris on Nov. 18, the same day he allegedly confessed to FBI agents that he had accepted more than $30,000 in exchange for registering or renewing vehicles for “several people.”
A few weeks later, Harris purportedly met at an Atlanta gas station with a person identified by authorities only as “Individual 1.” The individual did not know Harris had been fired and, according to authorities, provided him with the documentation and money necessary to have four vehicles registered.
A few days later, Individual 1 asked for his documents and money back. Harris sent text messages saying he was under investigation by the FBI and that the agency had video of Harris and Individual 1 meeting.
According to authorities, Harris asked ‘how much’ money he would be paid to not share more information with the FBI, adding that he would “not be going to prison empty-handed.
The FBI, DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia Department of Revenue, and DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office investigated the case.
Harris was charged with one count each of federal program bribery and blackmail.
“I am pleased to see that charges have been brought in this case,” DeKalb Tax Commissioner Irvin Johnson said in the news release. “Since our staff uncovered this illegal activity, we’ve continued to work closely with the authorities for months to assist in the investigation of Mr. Harris. Protecting the integrity of our operation and the interest of DeKalb taxpayers is our top priority.”