The Sanborn incident or Sanborn contract was an American political scandal which occurred in 1874. William Adams Richardson, President Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of the Treasury, hired a private citizen, John B. Sanborn, a former Union General, to collect $427,000 in unpaid taxes. Richardson agreed Sanborn could keep half of what he collected. After extorting money from companies to pay back taxes by falsely making claims of tax evasion, Sanborn kept $213,000, of which $156,000 went to his various assistants. After an investigation by the Treasury Department discovered corruption, President Grant signed legislation making the practice illegal.