IRS Criminal Investigation releases FY23 Annual Report highlighting more than 2,600 investigations, $37.1 billion identified from tax and financial crimes


Enforcement actions focused on tax fraud, money laundering, cybercrimes

Date: December 4, 2023


Video available for download: IRS CI 2023 Annual Report

WASHINGTON — In fiscal year 2023 (FY23), IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) initiated more than 2,676 criminal investigations, identified over $37.1 billion from tax and financial crimes, and obtained an 88.4% conviction rate on cases accepted for prosecution. The CI FY23 Annual Report PDF, released Monday, details these statistics, as well as important partnerships and significant criminal enforcement actions from the past fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2022, and ended Sept. 30, 2023.

"IRS Criminal Investigation plays a vital role for tax administration and law enforcement, and the results from the past year dramatically illustrate the results," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. "Criminal Investigation's work has identified tens of billions of dollars on issues including tax fraud, money laundering and cybercrimes. The work of Criminal Investigation employees – who often put themselves in harm's way to get the job done – continues to make a difference in helping uphold tax laws and protect taxpayers."

CI is the only federal law enforcement agency that spends 100% of its time on financial investigations. The agency uses data analytics to identify and investigate some of the most complex financial crimes. During FY23, CI investigators queried Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data in over 89.6% of their investigations, and 14% of CI's investigations were initiated based on BSA information. CI also utilized data analytics to support over 1,300 questionable refund and return preparer investigations, 231 of which included identity theft, in FY23. Additionally, CI's team seized over 1.7 petabytes of digital data from over 3,300 computer devices in support of investigations during the fiscal year.

In FY23, CI saw significant wins from partnerships both within and outside the U.S. In July 2023, a CI investigation, with assistance from the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, led to the indictment and arrest of an international tax advisor accused of concealing millions of dollars of income for high income Americans. CI's participation in the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (JCODE) Task Force played a major part in the success of Operation SpecTor. This operation netted 288 arrests and the seizure of 117 firearms, 850 kilograms of drugs that included 64 kilograms of fentanyl or fentanyl-laced narcotics and $53.4 million in cash and virtual currencies.

Training law enforcement partners on the latest investigative techniques also played a crucial role in combating crime in FY23. CI's International Training Team delivered 33 trainings to over 1,100 law enforcement officials from 96 countries. In May and September 2023, CI, in conjunction with private-sector and global law enforcement partners, delivered blockchain analysis tools and cyber training to Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to aid in sanctions-related enforcement efforts. The agency rounded out the fiscal year by training a team of investigators from Gulf countries on techniques to identify and combat the flow of money to and within terrorist organizations.

"Following the money is what we have done for more than 100 years," said CI Chief Jim Lee. "This report is a reflection of the tremendous work our agency has accomplished in an ever-changing, challenging financial crime landscape. Tax and other financial crimes know no borders, and our team will continue to uncover and dismantle egregious acts and criminal organizations. I could not be prouder of our team and our results."

The report PDF also includes additional case examples for each U.S. field office, an overview of CI's international footprint, details about the specialized services provided by CI and investigative statistics, broken down by discipline, for FY23.

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. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a nearly 90% federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.