THURSDAY, APRIL 16: Follow the Money, The Unsung Intelligence Unit That Put Away Some of the Most Notorious Mobsters
Treasury Department agents known as T-Men, under the leadership of Director Elmer Irey, quietly built tax evasion cases against mobsters like Al Capone, Nucky Johnson and Waxey Gordon; public official Huey Long and businessman Moses Annenberg. While the G-Men grabbed headlines, the T-Men put some of the biggest mobsters and corrupt politicians behind bars. The Treasury Department’s Special Intelligence Unit pursued organized crime bosses and other criminals for not paying taxes on their illegal incomes — and their record of success was astonishing.
The Intelligence Unit’s key figures, especially Irey, Frank Wilson and Mike Malone, deserve more fame for their financial investigation skills. Even today, the IRS Criminal Investigation division continues to be an effective force in the fight against organized crime.
A panel of nationally known Justice Department and IRS Criminal Investigation experts will share the insider’s story on how Irey’s team was responsible for busting numerous mobsters and others in the public eye. The panel will include:
- Rich Weber, national head of IRS Criminal, Washington, D.C.
- Tom Moriarty, special investigator with the Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Office
- Paul Camacho, former IRS criminal investigator, Las Vegas
- Geoff Schumacher, moderator
NEW EXHIBIT: GUN OWNED BY AGENT WHO ASSISTED IN TAKING DOWN CAPONE HEADED TO THE MOB MUSEUM
On April 17, the day following the “Follow the Money” panel discussion, The Mob Museum is unveiling a new permanent exhibit on the third floor featuring artifacts from the families of T-Men legends Elmer Irey and Mike Malone. It will include a Smith & Wesson .38 Special that belonged to IRS investigator Michael Malone, the man who went undercover to infiltrate Al Capone’s gang in the 1930s. The exhibit is focused on the Treasury Department agents, or T-Men, who were responsible for busting mobsters like Al Capone, Nucky Johnson and Waxey Gordon on tax evasion charges.
Also included are a number of T-Men artifacts including letters, photographs, documents and iconic items showcasing the work of these tireless agents of the Treasury Department. The exhibit will also include information on how the IRS investigative unit helped solve the kidnapping of the son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
WHO PUT SOME OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS MOBSTERS BEHIND BARS?
ANSWER: THE IRS.
BACKGROUND ON THE INTELLIGENCE UNIT
The IRS created the Intelligence Unit in 1919 to investigate widespread allegations of tax fraud. Elmer Irey was put in charge, and he transferred six Postal Service inspectors to create the new unit. In 1978, the Intelligence Unit’s name changed to Criminal Investigation.
The Intelligence Unit’s efforts were given a boost in 1927, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a criminal’s illegal incomes could be taxed. This opened the door for prosecution of the likes of Mob bosses, business schemers and corrupt politicians on tax evasion charges. The court’s majority opinion was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Other big T-Men cases:
- Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast
- Louisiana Governor Huey Long
- Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping
- Businessman Moe Annenberg
- New York mobster Dutch Schultz
- Chicago mobster Frank Nitti
- Chicago mobster Johnny Torrio
- Chicago mobster Ralph Capone
- Chicago mobster Murray Humphreys
- St. Paul mobster Leon Gleckman
Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C.
As Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation, Richard Weber heads the Internal Revenue Service Division responsible for investigating criminal violations of the tax code and related financial crimes. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Weber oversees a worldwide staff of nearly 3,500 CI employees, including approximately 2,500 special agents, who are responsible for investigating crimes involving tax, money laundering, public corruption, cyber, ID theft, narcotics and terrorist-financing.
Before joining IRS CI, Weber was the deputy chief of the Investigation Division and chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. In this position, he was responsible for managing prosecutors, investigators, analysts and paralegals handling investigations into securities and commodities fraud, large-scale mortgage and insurance fraud, Ponzi schemes, international money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions evasion, asset forfeiture and tax crimes.
Weber is a two-time recipient of the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the highest honor for Justice Department lawyers.
Thomas C. Moriarty, special investigator with the Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Office
Since 2003, Moriarty has been assigned as the special investigator for the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago. Moriarty’s duties are to investigate complex criminal financial crimes including money laundering, terror financing and asset forfeiture cases. Prior to this, for over 25 years, he was a special agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS. He has been assigned to the Organized Crime Program his entire career. Moriarty was also the organized crime special agent assigned to the United States Attorney’s Office and has been the lead investigative agent on numerous O.C. investigations. He was the lead case agent on the most successful O.C. case ever prosecuted in Northern Illinois.
During his career he has received many awards including IRS Criminal Investigation “Special Agent of the Year”, finalist for Federal Law Enforcement Agent of the Year, Chicago Crime Commission Federal Agent of the Year, Illinois State Crime Commission Federal Agent of the Year and was the subject interviewee on the NBC news magazine program Dateline about his activities in combating organized crime. He also has appeared on the Discovery Channel about his experiences with the Federal Witness Protection Program. Moriarty has a degree in finance and is a certified fraud examiner.
Paul Camacho, special agent in charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, retired
Paul Camacho, special agent in charge for the Las Vegas Field Office of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation retired, was named to this position in May of 2009 and retired in 2014. He was responsible for planning, directing and evaluating activities of criminal investigation employees in Utah and Nevada. Under Camacho’s leadership the LVFO garnered unprecedented local and national media attention for its succession of high impact investigations.
Camacho is a certified public accountant and a graduate of California State University East Bay with a degree in accounting. Over the course of his career in IRS CI, Camacho oversaw a number of sophisticated financial investigations involving offshore abusive tax schemes, high dollar Ponzi and investment fraud, large-scale internet fraud, military contract fraud, mortgage fraud, organized crime groups, narcotics money laundering and political corruption. The aggregate dollar value of these crimes exceeds well over a billion dollars. Camacho’s current passion is educating IRS employees and the public on the rich history of CI.
Photo credits: Thomas Pendergast is “Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Library” and Nucky Johnson is “Courtesy of the Atlantic City Free Public Library.”