With Guest Speaker IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent Jonathan Schnatz

We are very fortunate to have Special Agent Jonathan Schnatz as our guest speaker in this podcast on international efforts to investigate tax evasion and money laundering, and how they relate to criminal investigations and civil audits of U.S. businesses and individuals.

Special Agent Schnatz is a Senior Analyst with IRS Criminal Investigation (“IRS CI”) where he chairs the Professional Enabler Group as part of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), an international law enforcement and financial investigation collaborative dedicated to combatting transnational tax crime.  Prior to this position, Jonathan was a Senior Analyst within International Operations, served as the Deputy Attaché at the US Embassy in London, UK, and a Supervisory Special Agent and Special Agent in the Philadelphia Field Office. Prior to his government service, he worked in public accounting and has a dual degree in Accounting and Finance from DeSales University.

In this podcast, we delve into Special Agent Schnatz’s work with the J5, what it does and how it operates, and why it focuses on professional enablers of tax and money laundering violations, such as lawyers.  We then discuss how IRS CI works with its civil counterparts in the IRS in regards to enhancing the examinations of U.S. businesses and individuals for tax compliance.  The podcast further examines why a civil audit of a business or individual might turn into a criminal investigation, and what factors IRS CI special agents look for.

Finally, we briefly discuss the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), and how law enforcement agents may approach the CTA and the beneficial ownership information which will be collected under the CTA as an investigative resource.  The podcast was recorded before a March 1 district court ruling that the CTA is unconstitutional as written; FinCEN has indicated that it will comply with this ruling as to the particular plaintiffs “for as long as [the ruling] remains in effect.”

We previously have blogged on enforcement efforts by the J5, and efforts in general to combat cross-border tax evasion.  And we repeatedly have blogged on the growing focus on professional enablers of tax evasion and money laundering (here and here, just as examples).

We hope you enjoy the podcast.

If you would like to remain updated on these issues, please click here to subscribe to Money Laundering Watch. To learn more about Ballard Spahr’s Anti-Money Laundering Team, please click here.  To learn more about Ballard Spahr’s Tax Controversy Team, please click here.  Please click here to read our article on potential money laundering and client due diligence issues facing attorneys.