IRS Criminal Investigations
The IRS has a division called Criminal Investigation (CI) that conducts investigation of potential crimes involving taxation. Criminal Investigation investigates potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and related financial crimes. IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) is comprised of nearly 3,500 employees worldwide, approximately 2,500. IRS special agent’s investigative jurisdiction includes tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act laws. CI is an aggressive division that can take actions that result in the disruption of your life and business.
Sources of Criminal Investigations
Criminal Investigations can be initiated from information obtained from within the IRS when a revenue agent (auditor) or revenue officer (collection) detects possible fraud. Information is also routinely received from the public as well as from ongoing investigations underway by other law enforcement agencies.
Conducting a Criminal Investigation
Once a criminal investigation is opened, the special agent will try to obtain the facts and evidence needed to establish the elements of criminal activity. Various investigative techniques are used to obtain evidence, including interviews of third party witnesses, conducting surveillance, executing search warrants, subpoenaing bank records, and reviewing financial data.
Prosecution Recommendations by the Special Agent
After all the evidence is gathered and analyzed, the special agent and his or her supervisor either make the determination that evidence does not substantiate criminal activity, in which case the investigation is ‘discontinued,’ or that the evidence is sufficient to support the recommendation of prosecution. If the special agent concludes that there is sufficient evidence, the agent will proceed with the preparation of a written report detailing the his or her findings and recommending prosecution. This report is called a “special agent report,” and it is reviewed by numerous officials, including:
- The agent’s front line supervisor, called the supervisory special agent
- A criminal investigation quality review team, Centralized Case Review;
- CI assistant special agent in charge
- CI special agent in charge.
If CI determines the investigation should be criminally prosecuted, a prosecution recommendation is forwarded to:
- The Department of Justice, Tax Division, or
- The United States Attorney for all other investigations.
Each level of review may determine that evidence does not substantiate criminal charges and the investigation should not be prosecuted.
Contact an IRS Criminal Investigation Defense Attorney
If you are the target or subject of a criminal tax investigation, Contact a Los Angeles criminal investigation tax attorney today for a free consultation. Everything that you say to an IRS agent can and will be used against you. It is imperative that you speak to a tax attorney immediately before speaking to an IRS criminal investigation agent.