IRS Seized $3.5 Billion in Cryptocurrency This Past Year, Agency Says

The total accounted for 93 percent of the Criminal Investigation unit's seizures, highlighting how criminals have embraced digital cash — and spurred law enforcement to act

Almost all of the money seized by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit over the past fiscal year was in cryptocurrency, the agency announced Thursday — a strong indication of just how common it has become in the criminal world.

The unit seized $3.5 billion in cryptocurrency in nontax investigations over the past fiscal year, making up 93 percent of its overall seizures Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021.

The report marks a sharp turn toward bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the IRS, where digital money has quickly become the dominant form of payment in criminal cases in which the agency seizes funds.

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