This case involves a client whose personal property was seized by the IRS. On the date of the incident in question, the target of the IRS seizure – a high net worth individual – was away from his home when IRS agents entered and searched his property. During their search, IRS agents discovered a large quantity of hard currency worth millions of dollars, which they confiscated and took with them. It was claimed that the search warrant did not include any authorization to seize the individual’s property, and that the IRS agents did so unlawfully.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your background as it relates to the policies and procedures on seizing property and forfeiture.
- 2. How does the IRS typically file a search warrant?
Expert Witness Response E-117024
I was a Special Agent for IRS-CI for 21 years where I investigated white collar crimes including tax evasion and money laundering. I wrote several seizure warrants as well as search warrants during my tenure. I also worked as an Assistant US Attorney where I approved seizure and search warrants on behalf of the government. The IRS typically writes a search warrant and affidavit that has to be approved internally by its management and then the local IRS Counsel. Then, depending upon the type of case it will need approval from Department of Justice Tax Division before it is ultimately approved at the local district level. Upon approval by the local US Attorney office, the warrant will be submitted for review/approval by the US Magistrate Judge on duty. This US Magistrate Judge will either deny, require additional information, or approve the warrant. If approved the Magistrate Judge will have the agent/officer take an oath as to the truth of the affidavit.