IRS Boosts Conviction Rate

On April 7, 2015, the IRS announced the release of its "IRS Criminal Investigation Annual Report,"documenting the significant accomplishments and enforcement actions taken during fiscal year 2014. For that year, the IRS Criminal Investigation ("CI") focused on international tax fraud, return preparer and questionable refund fraud, identity theft, public corruptions, bank secrecy act violations, money laundering, and terrorist financing. CI initiated 4,297 cases in the 2014 fiscal year.

Despite budget challenges, CI efforts resulted in a 93.4% conviction rate in fiscal year 2014, the highest conviction rate in all of federal law enforcement for that year. CI is the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes and is often called in by local prosecutors to lead on a variety of financial crimes.

The annual report includes case summaries that represent the diversity and complexity of CI investigations. Cases in the report touch almost every part of the world and were some of the most successful in the history of CI. Two of the biggest stories of the year - Credit Suisse and Bank Leumi - are included in the report. In the largest criminal tax case ever filed, Credit Suisse pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers in filing false income tax returns and agreed to pay a total of $2.6 billion.

Following the Credit Suisse investigation, CI led the case against Bank Leumi Group, a major Israeli international bank that admitted conspiring to aid and assist U.S. taxpayers to prepare and present false tax returns. This unprecedented agreement marks the first time an Israeli bank has admitted to such criminal conduct. Bank Leumi Group will pay the U.S. a total of $270 million and cease to provide banking and investment services for all accounts held or beneficially owned by U.S. taxpayers.

The annual report 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, who served from 1919 to 1946, released such a document each year during his leadership to showcase the agency's work. Click here for the full 40-page report http://www.irs.gov/pub/foia/ig/ci/REPORT-FY2014-IRS-CI-Annual-Report.pdf

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