In 2016, the Criminal Investigation (CI) division of the Internal Revenue Service initiated 3,395 cases in fiscal year 2016 that focused on tax-related identity theft, money laundering, public corruption, cybercrime and terrorist financing. That’s according to the IRS Criminal Investigation annual report, reflecting the significant accomplishments and criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2016.
“The IRS continues to work to ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules and paying their fair share,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is committed to fairly administering and enforcing the tax code, and our criminal investigators play a critical role in that effort.”
The CI report is released each year for the purpose of highlighting the agency’s successes while providing a historical snapshot of the make-up and priorities of the organization. The very first Chief of IRS CI, Elmer Lincoln Irey, served from 1919 to 1946 and envisioned releasing such a document each year to showcase the agency’s investigative work.
“I could not be more proud of all that our special agents and professional staff have accomplished in spite of our budget challenges,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation Division. “Though the total number of cases has dropped for the third consecutive year due to fewer agents and professional staff, we have continued to find ways to become even more efficient and the quality of our cases has never been greater.”
CI is the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes. This year, CI again boasted a conviction rate rivaling all of federal law enforcement at 92.1percent. That conviction rate speaks to the thoroughness of the investigations. CI is routinely called upon by prosecutors across the country to lead financial investigations on a wide variety of financial crimes including international tax evasion, identity theft, terrorist financing and transnational organized crime.
CI investigates potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law. The 50-page report summarizes a wide variety of IRS CI activity throughout the fiscal year and includes case examples on a range of tax crimes, money laundering, public corruption, terrorist financing and narcotics trafficking financial crimes.
“I’m proud of IRS-CI and the reputation that this agency has as the best financial investigators in the world,” Weber said. “Regardless of our budget challenges over the past several years, I am proud that we have not lost sight of our impact or mission and that the quality of our cases remains high.”