Officials from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands have shared data and identified more than 50 crypto-related criminal leads, including one case that could involve a $1 billion Ponzi scheme.
Officials share data on global crypto crime
Heads of tax enforcement from the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) countries met in London this week to share information and data to identify sources of illicit cross-border crypto activity, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The J5 was formed in response to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) calling on countries to do more to address the sources of tax crime. It consists of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Fiscale Inlichtingen-en Opsporingsdienst (FIOD), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
During the meeting, officials identified more than 50 crypto-related criminal leads, according to the publication.
Jim Lee, chief of criminal investigations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), told reporters on Friday:
Some of these alerts… concern individuals with significant NFT transactions related to potential tax or other financial crimes in our jurisdictions.
He added that one lead “appears to be a $1 billion Ponzi scheme,” noting that this lead is “touching every single J5 country.”
In addition, officials have identified evidence of decentralized exchanges and financial technology companies, Lee said, adding that there could be announcements of “significant targets” later this month.
Niels Obbink, chief and director general of the Dutch Tax Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), told reporters:
NFTs are one of the new modern digital ways of trade-based money laundering.
Obbink noted that crypto has “less oversight and oversight and limited regulation that makes it vulnerable to fraud.” He emphasized: “It must have our attention.”
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