According to Bloomberg News, the Internal Revenue Service might seize cryptocurrency the valuation of which might amount to billions of dollars, which is linked to fraud related to taxes and other kinds of crime in the next year, which was started by the agency’s head, criminal investigation.
The IRS has already seized cryptocurrency worth $3.5 billion during the FY2021. This figure constituted 93% of all assets that were seized by tax enforcement agencies the same year, as per the IRS criminal investigation annual report that was published Thursday.
According to the Chief Jim Lee of IRS Criminal Investigation, he expects a trend of crypto seizures that will continue as we get into the FY 22, as he was speaking on a call to reporters. He also said that they are seeing crypto is getting involved in several crimes as we go ahead or move forward.
In the previous year, reports Bloomberg News, the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal unit has captured Bitcoin worth billions of dollars and various other virtual currencies that were connected with cases that involved a series of criminal activities like wire fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, and distribution of illegal narcotics. It also included $1 billion that was stolen from Silk Road, which is an online Bitcoin exchange, which brought down its shutters in 2013. It also led to the prosecution of a former software developer of Microsoft Corp that made use of cryptocurrency to conceal $10 million he misappropriated from the company, reports Bloomberg News.
The Criminal Investigation unit has stated that it “has prioritized training and the deployment of cryptocurrency, blockchain and open-source intelligence (OSINT) technologies to unravel complex cyber-financial criminal schemes”, the division mentioned in its report.
To take these efforts further, the unit is planning to open an Advanced Collaboration & Data Center in 2022 in Northern Virginia.
Bloomberg News reports that Congress of late approved the IRS more ability to surveil cryptocurrency-related transactions that President Joe Biden signed into the law, Monday related to infrastructure package.
The law requires the brokers of crypto to keep track and report transactions to the Internal Revenue Service so that the tax authorities can get an insight into the virtual currency trades that take place.
The agency could also derive benefits from an additional $80 billion in funding that has been proposed by the Democrats in Biden’s Build Back Better Plan that could win a vote in the House. As per Lee, funding is urgently required in the unit so that more than 250 to 300 special agents could be recruited, and also investment is made to identify and keep a tab on cybercrimes.