Paul L. Caron

Thursday, February 6, 2014

TRAC: IRS Criminal Prosecutions Up 23.4% in Obama Administration

TRAC-IRS The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University has released a report, IRS Criminal Prosecutions Rise Under Obama:

The number of criminal prosecutions referred each year by the IRS has risen by nearly a quarter — 23.4% — during the Obama administration when compared with the Bush years. Convictions are also drawing slightly longer average prison terms — 27 months under Obama versus 25 months under Bush (see Table 1).

For both administrations, the odds have been roughly 50-50 that federal prosecutors will accept an IRS referral for criminal prosecution. However, a surge in IRS criminal investigations referred under Obama has fueled an increase in the number of cases prosecuted. This has occurred even though the number of IRS fulltime criminal investigators has not grown: the average of 2,758 IRS criminal investigators during the Bush years has shrunk to 2,705 (a 2% drop) during the Obama administration.

The comparisons of the number of individuals referred to federal prosecutors by the IRS, as well as IRS staffing, are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the Office of Personnel Management.

Last year was a banner year for criminal prosecutions referred by the IRS. During FY 2013 the government reported 2,010 new prosecutions, a jump of 30.6 percent over the past fiscal year when the number of prosecutions totaled 1,539.



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