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Criminal Investigation
Abbreviation IRS-CI
Badge of the Criminal Investigation.
Agency overview
Formed July 1, 1919
Employees 4,400 (approx.)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency United States
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction Taxation.
Operational structure
Headquarters 1111 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC
Special agents 2,800 (approx)
Agency executive Eileen C. Mayer, Chief
Parent agency Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) investigates potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner intended to foster confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.

Chief, Eileen C. Mayer, Criminal Investigation, and Victor S.O. Song, Deputy Chief, Criminal Investigation, oversee a worldwide staff of approximately 4,400 CID employees, including approximately 2,800 special agents who investigate and assist in the prosecution of criminal tax, money laundering, and narcotics-related financial crime cases.

In July 2008, the office of the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that the number of federal criminal tax investigations referred by the Internal Revenue Service to the Tax Division of the Justice Department is at an eight-year high. According to the report, the fiscal year 2007 ended with 4,600 investigations. The increase is nearly 50 percent from fiscal year 2002 to year 2007. The report also concluded that federal criminal tax convictions increased by 6.7% from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2007. The number of persons convicted in fiscal year 2007 was 2,155.[1]



On July 1, 1919, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue created the Intelligence Unit to investigate widespread allegations of tax fraud. To establish the Intelligence Unit, six United States Post Office Inspectors were transferred to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to become the first special agents in charge of the organization that would one day become Criminal Investigation. They formed the nucleus that built the Intelligence Unit into an elite group of highly trained, dedicated professionals, who are recognized as the finest financial investigators in the world.

The Intelligence Unit quickly became renowned for the financial investigative skill of its special agents. It attained national prominence in the thirties for the conviction of public enemy number one, Al Capone, for income tax evasion, and its role in solving the Lindbergh kidnapping. From these promising beginnings the Intelligence Unit expanded over the intervening decades, investigating tax evasion by ordinary citizens, prominent businesspersons, government officials, and notorious criminals.

In July 1978, the Intelligence Unit changed its name to Criminal Investigation (CI). Over the years CI’s statutory jurisdiction expanded to include money laundering and currency violations in addition to its traditional role in investigating tax violations. However, Criminal Investigation’s core mission remains unchanged. It continues to fulfill the important role of helping to ensure the integrity and fairness of the United States tax system.

Since CI’s inception in 1919 to the present, the conviction rate for Federal tax prosecutions has never fallen below 90 percent. This is a record of success that is unmatched in Federal law enforcement.[2 ]

Strategic Priorities

The Criminal Investigation strategic plan is composed of three interdependent programs: Legal Source Tax Crimes; Illegal Source Financial Crimes; and Narcotics Related Financial Crimes. These three programs are mutually supportive, and encourage utilization of all statutes within CI’s jurisdiction, the grand jury process, and enforcement techniques to combat tax, money laundering and currency crime violations. Criminal Investigation must investigate and assist in the prosecution of those significant financial investigations that will generate the maximum deterrent effect, enhance voluntary compliance, and promote public confidence in the tax system. [3]

See also


  1. ^ George L. Yaksick, Jr., CCH News Staff, "IRS Referrals of Criminal Tax Investigations at Eight-Year High," Federal Tax Day, July 21, 2008, Item #T.2, CCH Tax Research NetWork (online), citing "Statistical Portrayal of the Criminal Investigation Division's Enforcement Activities for Fiscal Years 2000 Through 2007" (July 9, 2008), Reference Number 2008-10-133, Inspector General for Tax Administration, U.S. Department of the Treasury, at [1].
  2. ^ "History of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI).". US Department of the Treasury.,,id=107469,00.html.  
  3. ^ "Criminal Investigation (CI) At-a-Glance.". US Department of the Treasury.,,id=98398,00.html.  

External links



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