IRS Criminal Investigation veteran selected as new Fraud Enforcement Director


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IR-2020-49, March 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — As part of a continuing focus on compliance issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that Damon Rowe will serve as the agency's director of the newly created Fraud Enforcement Office beginning in mid-March.

Rowe and the new office will reside in the IRS Small Business/Self Employed Division and work on agency-wide compliance issues. He will serve as the principal advisor and consultant to IRS Division Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners on all issues involving Fraud Enforcement strategic plans, programs and policy.

A veteran of IRS Criminal Investigation, he will also provide agencywide executive leadership and direction in the design, development and delivery of major activities within the Fraud Enforcement office in support of IRS efforts to detect and deter fraud while strengthening the National Fraud Program.

In addition to leveraging existing law enforcement relationships, Rowe will have a continued focus on unscrupulous activities of taxpayers and professional enablers that undermine our Federal Tax Laws in a manner that is consistent and fair to the American public. With additional training, resources and applied analytics, SB/SE will thwart emerging threats as it relates to fraudulent filings and related activities.

"Our compliance and enforcement functions are working together to improve tax administration for everyone," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Every compliance employee has a commitment for a general awareness of tax fraud related issues, which is a priority for the agency. Damon's exceptional leadership skills, background and expertise will strongly support agency determinations regarding the existence of fraud, and, just as important, determinations where a fraud referral should not occur. We are proud to have Damon lead the coordination of our fraud enforcement efforts."

Eric Hylton, SBSE Commissioner, noted that Rowe will continue to strengthen the internal compliance relationships in the IRS between CI agents and civil-side revenue agents and revenue officers as well as work with external partners. In the past two years, revenue officers have been the single largest supplier of criminal fraud and deterrence referrals and account for most accepted case referrals.

"Damon's selection to this new office will help strengthen our compliance work and is yet an additional opportunity to engineer partnerships with the tax professionals as well as strengthen our capacity and resolve across all business units with coordinated enforcement efforts," Hylton said. "Fraud Policy will be getting more attention this year to ensure it has the staff and resources it needs to expand detection and deterrence efforts of our campus and field employees across the IRS."

As the agency expands its enforcement presence, Rowe will also work with Brendan O'Dell, the new Promoter Investigation Coordinator, to pursue potential fraud referrals regarding abusive promoters.

Prior to this position, Rowe served as Executive Director of International Operations for Criminal Investigation (CI) where he was responsible for ensuring international law enforcement cooperation between foreign governments and CI field offices. Previously, he served as Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles and Dallas Field offices and Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the New Orleans Field Office.

Rowe began his IRS career as a special agent in 1998. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from the University of Houston, a J.D. from Texas Southern University, and a Master of Legal Letters in Taxation from Southern Methodist University School of Law. Rowe is a member of the Texas Bar.