January 5th, 2016
On December 5, 2015, the IRS Criminal Investigations released its annual business report. The report details a number of successful prosecutions in both legal source tax crimes, such as general tax fraud, abusive tax schemes and identity theft; illegal source financial crimes, including public corruption, corporate fraud and financial institution fraud; international operations, under which narcotics and counterterrorism investigations fall; and money laundering and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.
While CI’s overarching priority is the enforcement of U.S. tax laws and support tax administration, the report also lists the FY 2015 investigative priorities, which include:
• Identity Theft Fraud
• Abusive Return Preparer Fraud & Questionable Refund Fraud
• International Tax Fraud
• Fraud Referral Program
• Political/Public Corruption
• Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)
• Bank Secrecy Act and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Review Teams
• Asset Forfeiture
• Voluntary Disclosure Program
• Counterterrorism and Sovereign Citizens
FY 2015 proved to be an eventful one for CI, as its participation in a wide swath of both national and international prosecutorial efforts included a number of high-profile cases. The most notorious of these cases included:
• The investigation into FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, which involved the coordination of law enforcement agencies in 33 countries and constituted one of the most complex white-collar investigations ever
• The participation in the successful conviction of Ross Ulbricht, popularly known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” who was the creator and owner of the “Silk Road” site
• The prosecution of Dr. Farid Fata, a Michigan hematologist-oncologist that purposely misdiagnosed patients with cancer in order to submit roughly $34 million in fraudulent Medicare and private insurance claims
The report also discusses a number of interesting developments made possible through the Third Party Money Laundering Initiative, in which CI collaborates with the Treasury Office for Asset Forfeiture. One of these newest areas of investigation is that of virtual currencies, such as bitcoin. Virtual currencies are a means of exchange that are used as a fiat currency despite the absence of legal tender status in any jurisdiction worldwide. Virtual currencies are attractive for use in financial crimes due to its encryption and the anonymity of each party to the transaction. CI’s participation in this program was vital to the previously mentioned prosecution of Ross Ulbricht. CI also participated in the prosecution of BNP Paribas S.A., the largest French bank and one of the world’s five biggest banks according to its total assets. This case was the first instance of a financial institution being convicted and sentenced for violation of U.S. economic sanctions. As a result of its participation and facilitation of myriad money laundering schemes, BNP Paribas was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to forfeit over $3.9 billion.
alliantNational, alliantgroup’s National practice, provides subject matter expertise on complex and emerging federal, state and international tax issues as well as legislative and regulatory affairs to help businesses receive timely and precise guidance on all their tax matters. Contact us today to learn how your business can benefit from alliantgroup’s tax consulting services.