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I do not know how many witnesses Brian interviewed while he was an IRS Special Agent or when he was a high-ranking official at U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).  Nor do I know the number of informants’ tips Brian collected over the course of his federal law enforcement career.  I did however, watch Brian try to collect tips during the witness interview depicted below.  I first wrote about the witness interview at an Asset Search Blog post published in 2008.  I now supply this post because I believe the most effective way private investigators can search for hidden assets in some matters is through witness interviews & informants’ tips.  This is the 6th post in my series about what private investigators can and cannot do legally while searching for assets:

The information supplied by foreign-based private investigators indicated the divorcing husband hid marital assets offshore.  Evidence gathered during the divorce also suggested the husband might have committed a tax fraud in hiding the marital assets.  To try to detect any additional assets hidden by the husband, I contacted Brian.  Brian was a former high-ranking official at FinCEN and he had earlier been an IRS Special Agent.  Brian was going to lead our interview of the husband’s business associate, who we were about to meet for the very first time.  Right before the interview, Brian identified some of the federal statutes relevant to many tax fraud investigations:

  • 26 U.S.C. § 6050I, large cash reporting requirements for trades & businesses (including attorneys).
  • 26 U.S.C. § 7201, most commonly applied tax evasion statute (however requires proof of a tax liability).
  • 26 U.S.C. § 7203, failure to file a timely tax return.
  • 26 U.S.C. § 7206 (1), perjury on a return / false statements, (unlike 26 U.S.C. § 7201,  proof of a tax liability is unnecessary).
  • 26 U.S.C. § 7206 (2), perjury on a return / false statements, but primarily used against tax return preparers such as accountants and attorneys.
  • 18 U.S.C. § 371, conspiracy to commit offense / defraud the United States.
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1001, false statements made to the federal government (can apply to any material verbal or written statement, even if unsworn).
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1956, money laundering.
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1957, money laundering involving property derived from specified unlawful activity.
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1961, Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”).
  • 31 U.S.C. § 5324, structuring bank deposits.

I hoped that Brian and I would learn what the business associate knew about the divorcing husband’s hidden money and suspected tax fraud.  As Brian started the interview, he told the business associate: “once a tax fraud investigation starts rolling along, nobody knows where it may end up.

First Image: Ron and Joe/Shutterstock.com

Second image courtesy of Flickr (Licensed) by Tsahi Levent-Levi

Copyright 2008-2015 Fred L. Abrams