The IRS Confiscated More Than 3.5 Billion USD In Crypto For 2021; Expect Much More For 2022

2021-11-23 17:17:30
The IRS And The Record Crypto Confiscations

According to the Criminal Investigation Annual Report, during 2021 the IRS confiscated 3.5 billion USD in crypto. This equals a whopping 93% of the total crypto funds that the IRS confiscated during this ongoing fiscal year. That is between the 1st of September 2020 and the 1st of  October of 2021.

The 49-page report was released by the IRS’s own Internal Service Criminal Investigation (CI) Unit. Consequently, the same federal authority conducted the investigation of illegal crypto activities.

Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner, says that the CI investigators are the sole authority for handling such federal matters.

CI agents are the only federal law enforcement officers with the authority to investigate criminal violations of the U.S. tax code.Chuck Retting | IRS Commissioner

Moreover, the Criminal Investigation Annual Report discloses a great deal of information concerning the IRS’s investigation. Everything from the slightest details such as remote associates of the suspects, up to the major federal offences such as money laundering.

One such example is ‘the longest-running bitcoin money-laundering service on the darknet dubbed Bitcoin Fog’. The IRS highlights the $1.2 million bitcoin money laundering offense as one of the most prolific crypto-laundering cases this year.

Consequently, the IRS seized a substantial amount that numbers $3.5 billion in crypto, or 93% of the total IRS confiscations. And according to the agency, they expect this trend to only increase in the upcoming 2022.

2022 – Even More Investigations

Criminal Investigation Chief at the IRS, Jim Lee, believes that as the number of crypto-users rises, so will the number of crypto-crimes increase.

I expect a trend of crypto seizures to continue as we move forward into fiscal year ‘22. We’re seeing crypto involved in a number of our crimes as we move forward.Jim Lee | Criminal Investigation Chief at IRS

Acting executive director of the Cyber and Forensic Services sector at the IRS, Jarod Koopman, shares this belief. In fact, he acknowledges that crypto-raids are becoming an everyday occurrence at the agency, given the recent surge of illegal crypto activities.

Additionally, he too believes that the 3.5 billion crypto confiscated by the IRS can be easily dwarfed in 2022. That is because Mr Koopman hinted that the agency is currently in the process of investigating several high-profile crypto cases.

We do expect that to stay somewhat in that range. Based on some investigations we’re currently working on that are pretty large in size and scope. We might be topping that figure next year.Jarod Koopman | Acting Exectuve Cyber & Forensics Director at IRS

The IRS will continue to relentlessly monitor all crypto-transactions in the States. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, since literally every country right now is on a mission to permanently ‘tame’ crypto. All we can do is sit back and hope for the best.

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