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April 14, 2024

IRS Official Anticipates More Crypto Cases Amid Uptick in Tax Violations, Says Public-Private Partnerships Critical

By Mehron Rokhy

A high-ranking member of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that he is anticipating more crypto cases related to tax violations.

In a new interview with CNBC, Guy Ficco, the IRS’s Chief of Criminal Investigation, says that crypto tax crimes – such as not reporting earned income from trading digital assets – are on the rise.


“What we’re seeing more of now and more in our current inventory is more of the pure crypto tax crimes. And these would be Title 26, which is federal income tax violations, specifically involving crypto.

This could be purely not reporting income generated from crypto sales, it could be hiding the true basis or shielding the true basis in crypto, so that’s an area where we’ve seen an uptick and I anticipate we’re going to see more of and more charged Title 26 crypto cases here this year and going forward.”

Ficco also notes the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors in tracking crypto crime as private companies, such as Chainalysis, have the expertise and tools to track ownership of crypto assets.

“Chainalysis, along with several other partners, have been very helpful to us and other law enforcement agencies in cracking the code. I would say the partnership aspect of that, the public-private partnership aspect of that [is important]…


My IRS special agents predominantly all have accounting degrees and are phenomenal at tracing and following money, but some of the tools, some of the applications that are needed when we start investigating in the crypto world, with obfuscation of true ownership, that’s where the expert support of companies like Chainalysis and others [come in] and those tools and applications allow my special agents to then utilize that to move forward and determine whether or not a crime has been committed.”

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