November 2022 Foodman Website and JD Supra

On 11/3/22, IRS-CI (IRS Criminal Investigation) released it FY2022 Annual Report highlighting more than 2,550 investigations, 90% conviction rate; enforcement actions focused on tax fraud, money laundering, cybercrimes, and important partnerships. During its Fiscal Year 2022, which began Oct. 1, 2021, and ended Sept. 30, 2022, IRS-CI identified over $31 billion from tax and financial crimes and obtained a 90.6% conviction rate on cases accepted for prosecution. The Annual Report also provides details on IRS-CI’s partnerships and significant criminal enforcement actions.  These partnerships provided IRS-CI with the ability to develop leads for domestic and international investigations with an international nexus. IRS-CI has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad. The Report states that:  “attachés provide support and direction for investigations with international issues, foreign witnesses, foreign evidence, or execution of sensitive investigative activities in collaboration with our international partners. Attachés also help uncover emerging schemes perpetrated by promoters, professional enablers, and financial institutions. These entities facilitate tax evasion of federal tax obligations by U.S. taxpayers, as well as other financial crimes.”  The goal of IRS-CI is to cement itself as the preeminent law enforcement agency investigating financial crimes on a global scale.”   Of note, IRS-CI, with 2,077 special agents, is the only U.S. federal law enforcement agency that focuses 100% on financial investigations.

IRS-CI expanded partnerships in 2022 – with Mexico producing notable results

As per the Report, IRS-CI has 12 attaché posts strategically stationed in 11 foreign countries:  Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Panama, Barbados, China, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Attachés work with foreign governments to build partnerships, train law enforcement counterparts, and investigate financial crimes.

IRS-CI expanded partnerships with foreign counterparts to help combat tax and financial crimes on a global level. IRS-CI special agents delivered trainings in countries like Argentina, Germany, Colombia, and Palau on topics ranging from cybercrime to human trafficking.   IRS-CI Mexico City, after changes to Mexico law that enabled the extradition of tax fugitives, launched an initiative to identify fugitives who had absconded to Mexico and nearby countries. This initiative resulted in the location of 79 criminal fugitives and the apprehension of eight during the first year.

IRS-Criminal Investigation follows the money successfully

“Our team follows the money,” said IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee. “We’ve been doing it for more than 100 years, and we’ve followed criminals into the dark web and now into the metaverse. Tax and other financial crimes know no borders. If you violate the law and end up in the crosshairs of an IRS-CI special agent, you are likely going to jail.”

Best to stay out of the scope of IRS-Criminal Investigation

As the only criminal investigative arm of the IRS and responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud and identity theft and more, IRS-CI special agents track a 90% conviction rate. Regardless of where money is hidden around the world, IRS-CI will follow and discover tax avoidance strategies such as hiding assets in offshore accounts and in accounts holding digital and or failing to file tax returns.

The important point is that the U.S. is sharing information with foreign jurisdictions and is working together to ensure that all citizens around the world are paying their fair share.  ©