IRS-CI deploys 4 cyber attachés to locations abroad to combat cybercrime


Date: May 18, 2023


WASHINGTON — IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) will launch a pilot program in June where cyber attachés will deploy to four continents across the globe to combat cybercrime, focusing on tax and financial crimes that use cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, peer-to-peer payments and mixing services. The four individuals tapped to serve as cyber attachés have significant expertise investigating cybercrime and will work with IRS-CI's law enforcement counterparts in Asia, Europe, South America and Australia.

The cyber attachés will deploy to Sydney, Australia; Bogota, Colombia; Frankfurt, Germany; and Singapore for a 120-day detail which takes place from June to September 2023.

"In order to effectively combat cybercrime, we need to ensure that our foreign counterparts have access to the same tools and expertise we have here in the United States," said IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee. "This summer, four of our most-skilled special agents will deploy to strategic locations on four continents to ensure that we can continue to build relationships and effectively combat cybercrime on a global scale."

The cyber attachés include:

Stacey Perez, cyber attaché based in Bogota, Colombia:

Perez has been an IRS-CI special agent for more than a decade and has investigated identity theft, money laundering and Title 26 investigations as part of the agency's Miami Field Office. Since 2019, she has been primarily focused on cyber money laundering and international investigations. A fluent Spanish speaker, she is well-versed and holds active licenses for multiple cyber investigative tools.

Peter Dickerman, cyber attaché based in Frankfurt, Germany:

Dickerman became an IRS-CI special agent in 2003 after he served as an officer with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Germany. He has served as a computer investigative specialist since 2013. In 2021, he was selected as a senior analyst for the Digital Forensics Program where he co-leads the Cyber Enterprise Systems and Macintosh Forensics teams for the agency.

David Strager, cyber attaché based in Sydney, Australia:

Strager began his IRS career with the civil side of IRS in 2008. In 2011, he began his career as an IRS-CI special agent. He has been a supervisory special agent since 2020 and has been serving on a long-term detail as the acting assistant special agent in charge of the Miami Field Office. Throughout his career, he has overseen criminal investigations involving cryptocurrency tax evasion, money laundering and international fraud. Strager holds a variety of cryptocurrency certifications and active licenses for cryptocurrency tracing tools.

Cuong Ly, cyber attaché based in Singapore:

Ly started his IRS career as a revenue agent with the civil side of IRS in 2009. In 2014, he became a special agent with IRS-CI. He has investigated international money laundering, darknet marketplaces and financially motivated cybercrimes. Since 2018, he has served as part of the FBI's Cyber Task Force, where he has conducted many complex cyber investigations, including data breaches, fraud within cryptocurrency exchanges and more. He is fluent in Vietnamese and Cantonese and holds a variety of cyber certifications.

IRS-CI currently has one permanent cyber attaché posted at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. This position was created in June 2020 and has helped build partnerships and conduct law enforcement operations with IRS-CI's European law enforcement counterparts. The cyber attaché pilot program was modeled after the agency's existing cyber attaché position at The Hague.

IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. IRS-CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.