WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the release of the Criminal Investigation Division’s (CI) annual report, reflecting significant accomplishments and criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2017. Focusing on employment tax, refund fraud, international tax enforcement, tax-related identity theft, public corruption, cybercrime, terrorist financing and money laundering, CI initiated 3,019 cases in FY 2017. The number of cases initiated is directly tied to the number of special agents that CI has.
“We have the same number of special agents—around 2,200—as we did 50 years ago,” said Don Fort, Chief, CI. “Financial crime has not diminished during that time– in fact, it has proliferated in the age of the Internet, international financial crimes and virtual currency. Despite these challenges, we continue to do amazing work, investigating some of the most complicated cases in the agency’s history. Criminals would be foolish to mistake declining resources for a lack of commitment in this area.”
The annual 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.
CI is the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes. This year, CI again boasted a conviction rate rivaling all federal law enforcement at 91.5% while spending more than 72% of their investigative time working tax cases. That conviction rate speaks to the thoroughness of the investigations and 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 interactive report summarizes a wide variety of CI activity throughout the fiscal year and includes case examples from each field office on a wide range of financial crimes.
“Since taking over as the Chief of CI this summer, I could not be prouder to lead the men and women of this organization,” said Fort. As financial crimes—and the way we investigate them—continue to evolve, CI continues to set the standard for financial investigations worldwide.”