A report from last week indicates that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is pursuing “hundreds” of criminal investigations regarding crypto.
According to Bloomberg, there has been a shift in recent years away from money laundering to people being paid in crypto, migrating it to fiat, and then not reporting the income. Today, about half the cases are said to involve money laundering allegations.
The IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) unit recently stated in its annual report that it is stepping up its crypto capabilities:
“CI prioritized training and the deployment of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and open-source intelligence technologies to unravel complex cyber-financial criminal schemes. When a foreign corrupt government official receives bribes, they often use a third-party to move or launder those illegal proceeds to buy properties, cryptocurrencies, and many other assets. If any of the funds move into or through U.S. financial system, CI can trace the money.”
The IRS CI said that it had seized a record amount of data and cryptocurrency in the past year. The report said its efforts have helped to mitigate risks presented by digital assets.
“The CFS is constantly taking additional steps to evolve, especially as threats evolve in areas such as decentralized finance, peer-to-peer payments, and anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies. Due to relatively limited resources, the CFS focuses on cases where they can have the most significant impact.”