The IRS and Organized Crime: 100 Years of Following the Money
One hundred years ago, Treasury Department official Elmer Irey created a special unit to crack down on tax evaders. Irey’s “T-Men” became a leading force against corrupt politicians and crime bosses. Its signature case put Chicago Mob boss Al Capone behind bars in 1931. The Intelligence Unit evolved into the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, which today follows the money to build cases against tax cheats and money launderers. With 3,100 employees worldwide, IRS CI fills a unique niche in federal law enforcement, exposing sophisticated schemes to defraud the government. This panel discussion will feature current IRS CI agents describing recent cases and how they uncover financial crimes across the globe.
John D. Fort
Chief IRS Criminal Investigation
John D. (Don) Fort is the Chief, Criminal Investigation, headquartered in Washington, DC. He was appointed to the position in June 2017 and heads the Internal Revenue Service Division responsible for investigating criminal violations of the tax code and related financial crimes. Mr. Fort oversees a worldwide staff of nearly 3,000 CI employees, including approximately 2,100 special agents, who investigate crimes involving tax, money laundering, public corruption, cyber, ID theft, narcotics and terrorist-financing.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Fort served as the Deputy Chief for three years. Chief Fort began his IRS career in 1991 as a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division in the Baltimore District. He has held the increasingly responsible positions of Supervisory Special Agent, Orlando, Florida; Senior Analyst and Acting Director, Office of Special Investigative Techniques, CI Headquarters, Washington, DC; Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore and Washington DC Field Offices; Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Field Office; and, Deputy Director of Strategy, CI Headquarters.
Mr. Fort entered the Senior Executive Service in January 2011 when he was appointed to serve as a Director of Field Operations, the position he held until his appointment as Deputy Chief, CI. Mr. Fort has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management with a minor in Accounting from Gettysburg College. Mr. Fort is a licensed CPA in the State of Virginia and is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Former Chief IRS Criminal Investigation
From April 2012 to June 2017, Richard served as the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI). Richard led a worldwide staff of nearly 3,500 employees, including approximately 2,300 special agents, who investigate crimes involving tax, money laundering, sanctions enforcement, Bank Secrecy Act violations, public corruption, cyber, ID theft, narcotics and terrorist financing. Before joining IRS-CI, Richard was the Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division and Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Richard has previously served as Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. He is the recipient of the 2015 Presidential Rank Award – the highest civil service recognition that is given in the Federal government – and a two-time recipient of the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, the highest honor for Justice Department lawyers.
Special Agent in Charge with IRS Criminal Investigation
Kristina O’Connell works for the IRS’ Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Division as the Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office. She is an active duty Army veteran and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Ithaca College and Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.
SAC O’Connell has over 24 years of government experience and has worked for multiple federal agencies throughout her career.
As a manager in IRS-CI she piloted various initiatives in the Boston area, to include joint agency law enforcement working groups focusing on Domestic Terrorism and Stolen Identify Refund Fraud. While a field agent she served five years as a narcotics task force officer and spent several years working tax fraud and political corruption cases in and around New England.
Special Agent with Europol as liaison officer to the European Cybercrime Centre
Mr. Gambaryan began his career with IRS-CI as a Special Agent in 2011 in the Oakland Field Office. As a Special Agent, he conducted numerous investigations involving violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes.
Mr. Gambaryan was assigned to the investigation involving the corrupt members of the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, as well as the investigation of Ripple Labs (XRP). Tigran is also the IRS-CI investigator who together with HSI arrested the operator of the world’s largest illegal bittorent download website, Kick Ass Torrents. More recently, Tigran lead the investigation and shutdown of BTC-e bitcoin exchange and the arrest of its operator Alexander Vinnik. Tigran also investigated Alphabay and Wall Street Marketplaces.
In 2015, Special Agent Gambaryan became the IRS-CI representative at the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF), investigating matters related to national security and terrorism financing. Special Agent Gambaryan was one of the founding members of the NCIJTF Digital Currency Group.
In 2016, Special Agent Gambaryan joined the IRS-CI Washington DC Cyber Crimes Group (CCU). At the CCU, Special Agent Gambaryan investigated identity theft, digital currency laundering, distribution of child pornography, tax evasion, terrorism financing, nation state hacking, and bank secrecy act violations.
Special Agent Gambaryan is currently assigned to Europol as a liaison officer to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)
Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation
Special Agent Daniels has been as Special Agent with IRS-CI since 1995. During this time he has conducted complex financial investigations involving: tax evasion, tax fraud, bank secrecy, structuring, money laundering, health care fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, narcotics, identity theft, and cybercrimes. SA Daniels is currently assigned to the Head Quarters Section of Cyber Crimes. SA Daniels is responsible for the Program Areas of Virtual Currency and Dark Web.
Retired Special Agent with IRS Criminal Investigation Division
Mr. Berryman was a Special Agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division for over thirty years before his retirement in June of 2018.During his years with IRS-CID, Mr. Berryman worked a variety of crimes, to include tax, narcotics, bankruptcy fraud, Ponzi schemes, terrorism, money laundering, defense contract fraud, and Bank Secrecy Act violations pertaining to financial institutions. However, for the last twenty years of his career, Mr. Berryman is most known for his work in the field of corruption, bribery, extortion, and RICO.
Mr. Berryman investigated and brought to justice many corrupt politicians, and during the last seven years of his career, was the lead IRS-CID case agent on the FIFA corruption investigation.At the present time Mr. Berryman has his own consulting and investigations firm, who’s website can be found at www.BerrymanPrime.com.