The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit (IRS-CI) has seized $3.5 billion in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin) during fiscal year 2021. The sum accounted for 93% of all the assets seized by the regulator that year, according to an IRS criminal investigation annual report.
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"Frequent money laundering techniques include manipulating currency reporting requirements, layering transactions, the use of cryptocurrency, the use of Black Market Peso, and moving funds internationally," the report says.
According to Jarod Koopman, the IRS-CI's acting executive director of cyber forensics, the majority of seized cryptocurrencies were money-laundering cases. He added that cryptocurrencies are "inherently money." It does not even matter what the crime, if money is the underlying factor, the IRS is involved, Koopman emphasized.
In June this year, special agent of the IRS's Cyber Crimes Unit, Chris Janczewski, said the agency was worried about Telegram's end-to-end encrypted over-the-counter cryptocurrency chats that could be used by bad actors to launder money. Janczewski said that peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms open doors for bad actors to quickly shift dirty money. He also added that there is often a "network of people that want to convert crypto into fiat" on these P2P platforms.
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