U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized $ 3.5 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021


The US Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) seized $ 3.5 billion in cryptocurrencies last year and expects an even higher amount for the coming year.

Since 2015, the IRS has strengthened its cybercrime department. This unit investigates tax crimes that use the internet and other internet-based technologies that enable criminals to “conduct crimes anonymously and without a defined physical presence”.

In its report for Fiscal Year 2021, the IRS writes that Internet crime “almost always involves the use of cryptocurrency to facilitate crime.” That has made it imperative for the agency to oversee the crypto industry, and it has done so on a large scale paid off. The seizure of cryptocurrency accounted for 93% of the total of all seized money. “It’s a huge, huge number,” noted Jarod Koopman, assistant director of the agency’s cyber and forensics division. “We are sure to see a shift in our investigative work,” he added, adding that large-scale seizures of cryptocurrencies have become commonplace for the agency.

IRS expects increase in 2022

The agency expects this trend to continue in 2022 and told Bloomberg:

“We expect the trend towards seizure of cryptocurrencies to continue in the course of the 2022 tax year. We find that cryptocurrencies play a role in a number of criminal offenses. “We assume that we will exceed this number in the next year as we are currently working on studies that are very large in scope.”

Silk Road was the most important case for the agency. The dark web marketplace was infiltrated by law enforcement agencies, including the IRS’s Cyber ​​Crime Unit last year. In November, the US government seized thousands of Bitcoins valued at over a billion dollars – the largest single sum seized to date.

The IRS also seized $ 10 million from a former Microsoft employee who stole virtual cards and sold them online for Bitcoin. He is currently serving a nine-year prison term.

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