The IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) section serves the American public by investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that builds confidence in the tax system and law enforcement.
It is the only federal law enforcement agency authorized to investigate federal criminal tax violations and prosecute related financial crimes, such as money laundering, currency violations, and terrorist financing.
These efforts are increasingly important given the new threats in the global financial landscape. One of the best-known cases in the history of this section of the IRS was the case of Al Capone, who was caught for tax evasion on October 17, 1931 and sentenced to 11 years in prison and an $80,000 fine.
Tax fraud investigations in general are at the core of CI`s law enforcement activities; for example, agents spend a great deal of energy unraveling domestic and offshore tax avoidance strategies that are facilitated through trusts and partnership agreements.
CI also investigates money laundering by criminals and criminal organizations, corruption and other non-tax fraud cases. CI is empowered to seize assets implicated in money laundering or other illicit activities, and is the largest Treasury law enforcement division with this ability.
In recent years, CI has significantly expanded its presence in areas of emerging importance. Since 2015, it has created a world-class cybercrime program to address the exponential growth of cybercrime affecting the US tax, financial, and economic systems. This group managed to seize more than $3.5 billion of cryptocurrency seizures in fiscal year 2021, and have already seized more than this amount in fiscal year 2022.
In addition to investigating cybercriminals, CI has recently been asked to contribute its unique expertise to assist in interagency efforts to enforce sanctions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as called for in the related Kleptocapture Task Force announced by the Department of Justice. Working with law enforcement entities throughout the government, the IRS is already in the process of investigating drug cartels.
The IRS and its criminal investigation section, in their eagerness to recover the taxes evaded by offenders, intends to expand their activities focused on individuals, companies and international governments that do not comply with their tax obligations.
For more information, please visit the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-spotlights-criminal-investigation-law-enforcement