According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it managed to seize cryptocurrencies worth $3.5 billion during the fiscal year 2021. In the same time period, its criminal investigation unit had seized plenty of other funds, but cryptocurrencies accounted for about 93% of it. Therefore, the agency said that it is expecting to seize billions more in the form of cryptocurrencies in the next fiscal year as well. The Criminal Investigation (CI) unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is the law enforcement branch of the tax authority, released its Criminal Investigation Annual Report for 2021 on Thursday.
Chuck Rettig, the IRS commissioner, explained that officers of its CI unit were the only federal law enforcement officers that have the authority of investigating criminal violations of the country’s tax code. The report provides details, such as partnerships, statistics as well as the significant criminal enforcement actions that were taken by the CI unit of the IRS in the last fiscal year. This fiscal year had begun from October 1st, 2020 and had ended on September 30th, 2021. The report highlighted a number of prominent crypto cases, which included Bitcoin Fog that has been dubbed as the longest-running money-laundering service based on Bitcoin on the darknet.
The Criminal Investigation Report is about 49 pages long and it states that during the fiscal year of 2021, the agency had seized about $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies. This is approximately 93% of all the seizures that the unit had made during this time. This prompted the agency to dictate that they are expecting to seize cryptocurrencies worth billions of dollars in the next fiscal year as well. Jim Lee, the Criminal Investigation Chief for the IRS spoke to reporters and said that he was expecting the trend of crypto seizures to continue in the fiscal year 2022 as well.
He added that they were going to see a lot of cryptocurrency involved in criminal activities as they move forward. The acting executive director of the Cyber and Forensic Services division of the IRS, Jarod Koopman said that large seizures of cryptocurrencies were becoming the new normal for criminal investigations conducted by the IRS. He said that it was a massive number and there had been a major change in their investigative work as well. Koopman is also of the opinion that the Criminal Investigation (CI) unit of the IRS would see even greater seizure of cryptocurrencies in their future investigations as well.
He said that based on some of the ongoing investigations that are taking place by the CI unit of the IRS, they might stay in the range, or they could end up topping that figure in the next fiscal year. This is because he hinted that some of the investigations were quite large in terms of scope and size and this would mean that the IRS would end up seizing even bigger amounts of cryptocurrency in the next fiscal year. Of course, this is further confirmation that cryptocurrencies have become a powerful trend and are here to stay.