IRS Criminal Prosecutions Rose under Obama

USA CtDuring the Obama administration, the number of criminal prosecutions referred by the Internal Revenue Service to the Justice Department has increased 23.4 over the Bush years. Prosecutions in fiscal year 2013 alone jumped 30.6 percent from last year to 2,010 new prosecutions, a banner year for criminal prosecutions.

Convictions for tax crimes are also drawing slightly longer average prison terms. Under Obama prison terms are 27 months versus only 25 months under Bush, according to information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

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.

Overall, prosecutions of this type are up 63.4 percent from the level of 1,230 reported in 2003, with “Fraud and False Statements” at the top of the list (230 in 2013). This is followed closely by “Attempt(s) to Evade or Defeat Tax”, with 200 prosecutions in 2013.

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During the Obama administration,