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US Internal Revenue Service Reviewing Hundreds of Crypto Cases

  • As per reports, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is building "hundreds" of crypto cases to combat tax evasion.

  • In fiscal year 2022, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division seized almost $7 billion in cryptocurrency, more than double the previous year's figure.

08-Nov-2022 By: Sudeep Saxena
US Internal Revenue

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division

(CI), the tax authority's law enforcement department, is building "hundreds" of crypto cases, reported an American media outlet. 

The publication cited CI chief Jim Lee stated that many of the cases will be made public soon.

During a press conference, Lee highlighted that the instances mostly involve cryptocurrencies being exchanged for fiat currencies and individuals neglecting to report cryptocurrency payments. While most instances in the past were tied to money laundering, the CI chief remarked that in the last three years, he has "truly noticed a shift" in digital asset investigations.

As per the Criminal Investigation Division's yearly report, the IRS "seized record volumes of data and cryptocurrency." Lie asserted that the  CI seized over $7 billion in cryptocurrency in fiscal year 2022, which was more than double the previous fiscal year's record. The fiscal year of CI began on October 1, 2021, and ended on September 30, 2022.

The Office of Cyber and Forensic Services (CFS) was established by the tax authorities last year to integrate numerous areas of investigation, including digital assets, cybercrime, digital forensics, and physical forensics. Lee asserted that the office can track virtually any cryptocurrency transaction.

As per the report, “CFS prioritises criminal investigations involving the improper use of digital assets and how they might be exploited to defraud the US tax and financial systems.”

The CFS is constantly evolving, particularly when threats emerge in fields such as decentralised finance [defi], peer-to-peer payments, and anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies. Due to limited resources, the CFS focuses on cases where it can have the greatest impact, the report continues, elaborating:

“CI prioritised training and the deployment of crypto, blockchain, and open-source intelligence technology to decode complex cyber-financial criminal schemes.”

“When a foreign corrupt government official accepts bribes, they frequently employ a third party to relocate or launder the unlawful earnings in order to purchase real estate, cryptocurrency, and a variety of other assets. If any of the funds go into or via the [US] financial system, CI can track them down,” the report further details.

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