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The Investigation and Resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew

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The Investigation and Resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew

spiro agnew tax evasionSpiro Theodore Agnew was the first Greek-American Vice President, and served as Vice President under Richard Nixon.

Like Nixon, Agnew’s time in office was plagued with criminal investigations and scandal. After five years of serving as Vice President, Agnew also became the first U.S. Vice President to resign due to criminal charges.

However, this investigation was totally unrelated to the infamous Watergate scandal.

The former Maryland Governor was brought up on a series of charges. These charges included extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy.

According to FBI documents, Agnew was only being investigated for tax evasion by the IRS. However, while conducting their investigation, the IRS uncovered evidence that suggested that Vice President Agnew was also involved more serious crimes such as racketeering and extortion.

spiro agnew tax evasion

The FBI has released over 150 pages that chronicle the investigation into the affairs of Vice President Spiro Agnew.

The FBI documents include the results of polygraph tests given to various informants, evidence of corruption throughout the State of Maryland’s governmental offices during the 1960s , and an investigation into information leaks to the press.

The documents also include a series of allegations made by former Agnew associates including: a 5% kick-back from a state contractors scheme that Agnew participated in when he was governor of Maryland, a variety of payments made to Agnew in his White House office, and unreported presidential campaign contributions.

On October 10, 1973, Agnew plead no contest to just a single charge of failing to report $29,500 of income received in 1967. That plea deal led to three years probation and the resignation of the office of Vice President.

However, many Maryland residents were a little upset with this “sweetheart” deal and the State of Maryland sued Agnew. As a result of this second lawsuit, a Maryland court forced Agnew to repay more than $248,000 to cover the bribes he took while in office.

Spiro Agnew cut a check to the Maryland Treasurer’s office for the total sum in 1981.

Originally published on

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