Officials from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands have shared data and identified more than 50 crypto-related criminal leads, including one case that could be a $1 billion Ponzi scheme.
The heads of tax enforcement from the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) countries met in London this week to share intelligence and data to identify sources of illegal cross-border crypto activity, Bloomberg reported Friday.
The J5 was formed in response to the call to action from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for countries to do more to tackle the enablers of tax crime. It’s comprised 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, the officials identified more than 50 crypto-related criminal leads, the publication conveyed.
Jim Lee, chief of criminal investigations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), told reporters Friday:
Some of these leads … involve individuals with significant NFT transactions revolving around potential tax or other financial crimes throughout our jurisdictions.
He added that one lead “appears to be a $1 billion Ponzi scheme,” noting that this lead “touches every single J5 country.”
Moreover, the officials have identified leads involving decentralized exchanges and financial technology companies, Lee said, adding that there could be announcements on “significant targets” as soon as this month.
Niels Obbink, chief and general director of the Dutch Fiscal 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 control and less supervision and a limited regulation that makes it vulnerable for fraud.” He stressed, “it must have our attention.”
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