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FBI serves search warrant at tax agency

FBI agents served a search warrant on the main office of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department on Wednesday as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed in a formal statement.

The warrant was apparently directed at one employee, state officials said.

As a matter of policy, Justice Department agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, do not comment on ongoing investigations.

Additionally, as a matter of law, federal officials are prohibited from commenting on matters occurring before grand juries, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez said.

A spokesman for the Taxation and Revenue Department told The Associated Press that the FBI investigation involved a classified employee who has been placed on administrative leave.

Several sources within the department and at the federal level said the raid was unrelated to a state investigation of Demesia Padilla, former taxation and revenue secretary.

Padilla resigned in December after state investigators went to her agency and seized tax documents belonging to her and her husband. Neither of them has been charged with a crime.

A spokesman for Attorney General Hector Balderas said state prosecutors are still investigating Padilla for possible crimes including tax evasion and embezzlement.