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February 4, 2014

Report: IRS Criminal Prosecutions Up 23.4% under Obama
By Jason Bramwell

A new report from Syracuse University found that the number of referrals for criminal prosecution by the IRS has spiked by 23.4 percent under the Obama administration compared to George W. Bush’s years in the White House. The report, IRS Criminal Prosecutions Rise Under Obama [1], which was authored by the university’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), also concluded that prison terms for individuals convicted of tax malfeasance were slightly longer on average during Obama’s tenure in office – twenty-seven months versus twenty-five months under Bush. The report’s data is based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for US Attorneys and the Office of Personnel Management. According to the report, the number of annual IRS referrals for criminal prosecution received jumped from 2,529 in fiscal years 2001 to 2008 to 3,499 in fiscal years 2009 to 2013. The number of annual prosecutions filed rose from 1,303 during the Bush years to 1,568 under the Obama administration. The percentage of prosecutions was slightly higher during the Bush administration: 53.7 percent to 53 percent. The report noted that for both administrations, the odds have been about fifty-fifty 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,” the report stated. “This has occurred even though the number of IRS full-time criminal investigators has not grown: The average of 2,758 IRS criminal investigators during the Bush years has shrunk to 2,705 – a 2 percent drop – during the Obama administration.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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