Cryptocurrencies Accounted For 93% Of All The Assets Seized By The IRS’s Criminal Investigation Unit In 2021

According to its Criminal Investigation Annual Report for 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) seized $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in fiscal year 2021, which accounted for 93% of all assets seized by the agency’s Criminal Investigations unit.  The virtual currencies seized were “connected to cases involving a range of criminal activities, such as wire fraud, money laundering, the distribution of illegal narcotics, and tax fraud.”  The seizures included $1 billion in cryptocurrency that had been stolen from the Silk Road, a now-defunct website that authorities say was used for criminal transactions.  

According to Bloomberg Law, the agency anticipates that the trend of cryptocurrency seizures will continue in 2022.  The IRS’s efforts on this front will likely be aided by the recently passed infrastructure package, which grants the agency a greater ability to surveil cryptocurrency transactions by requiring cryptocurrency brokers to report transactions to the IRS. 

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About Katherine M. Lenahan

Katherine M. Lenahan is a Partner in the New York office of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP and focuses her practice on securities litigation.

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