TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WSJ: Government Uses Tax Law to Fight Terror

Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal:  Terror Inquiry Turns to Tax Law; Efforts to Probe Financing of Islamic Extremists Centers on IRS Violations, by Glenn R. Simpson:

The Justice Department is investigating possible criminal tax-law violations by a Boston private-equity firm that manages hundreds of millions of dollars for Muslim investors in Europe and the Middle East and is affiliated with a Swiss investment group U.S. authorities suspect of financing Islamic extremists. Federal prosecutors disclosed a grand-jury probe of Overland Capital Group Inc. in filings last week with U.S. District Court in Boston. While the Boston grand jury is examining suspected tax evasion related to complex investment structures, the case is being handled by a prosecutor from the Justice Department's counterterrorism division, the filing states.

In the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. counterterrorism agencies have been stymied in several attempts to bring terrorism cases against wealthy individuals from the Middle East. Some prosecutors have pushed the government to use tax laws as a more effective approach, a method famously employed against gangster Al Capone in 1931.

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