LAS VEGAS(KSNV/MyNews3.com) -- The tax man may not be on your list of favorite people, but in American history, IRS agents have brought down some of the biggest mobsters.
That's how they got Al Capone, and now Las Vegas is getting a behind-the-scenes look at the man behind it. Visitors to the Mob Museum may soon be able to learn more about Elmer Irey.
Some of the most notorious gangsters, including Al Capone met their demise from Irey, who lead the charge against corruption. He was the longtime head of the IRS Intelligence Unit.
"Elmer Irey is one of the greatest forgotten leaders in American history and it was Elmer Irey that led the fight against the underworld in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s," said IRS Special Agent in Charge, Paul Camacho.
Camacho says Irey was a leader that modern day agents could really pattern because of his character.
"Elmer was going after so many bad guys, he was the role model. They talked about his integrity and his honesty. He was a man of great competence," Camacho said.
Irey was considered an excellent leader, a man of humility, and in his day they say he was greatly feared. He was the target of hits; and in his day Life Magazine named him "One the world's greatest detectives" bringing down many a mobster with his team, by following the money.
"The art of financial sleuthing and they kept on refining it, getting better and better and criminals they found by following the money became the criminals' Achilles heel," Camacho said.
The IRS in a quest to learn more of its own history contacted Irey's family. In return, they were given precious documents, letters, photos and even magazines. Now these documents have been donated to the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.This includes letters to Irey from President Franklin D. Roosevelt commending him for his efforts.
It reads: "As the years have gone by, the Intelligence Unit has become a shining mark not only of incorruptibility but what is just as important, of A-1 efficiency. I know how much quiet pride you have in the reputation of the unit."
"I thought i was going to get just personal letters. I had no idea. what we got was letters that history books refer to," Camacho said.
Jonathan Ullman, Executive Director of the Mob Museum says there's even a letter from Charles Lindbergh thanking Irey for solving what was considered the crime of the century: the kidnapping of his baby in 1932.
"This collection is really a treasure trove. I mean it's a window into a time period that most people don't get to see," Ullman said.
But soon the public may have a chance. Right now the documents and photos are available for research and journalism, but the Mob Museum hopes to have them on display for the public as soon as early next year.