1 IRS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION PROCESS & CURRENT AREAS OF FOCUS Tax Section Kurt Bertram San Antonio Bill Harris U.S. Department of Justice San Antonio Gary Ploetz Ploetz Investigations San Antonio David C. Gair Gray Reed & McGraw, PC John Hunter The Blum Firm, PC Dallas Friday, June 19, :40 a.m. 10:40 a.m.
2 Special Agent Kurt Bertram - (IRS-CI) Kurt joined IRS in 2005 after extensive training to become a Special Agent. Kurt conducts financial investigations that involve analyzing the books and records of individuals and businesses to locate evidence of violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Kurt focuses on investigations involving tax evasion, fraudulent tax return preparers, false claims against the US Government, money laundering and alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. One of his investigations involved an international multi-million refund scheme utilizing stolen identities to electronically file fraudulent state and federal tax returns where the stolen proceeds were transferred out of the United States. The three year investigation resulted in the indictment of numerous individuals and significant seizures. Kurt has served IRS as a Supervisory Special Agent and, in addition to his investigative duties, he is currently the Public Information Officer for the San Antonio Field Office. Kurt holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Missouri. Kurt s IRS training includes an 11-week Criminal Investigator Training Program and the 16-week Special Agent Basic Training Program conducted by the IRS s National Training Academy. Kurt also holds a private pilot license and enjoys sharing his passion for flying with friends and family whenever he has the opportunity.
3 William R. Harris Assistant United States Attorney Professional Experience Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Texas, San Antonio, Texas 7/13/92 - present (Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Coordinator, formerly Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator, Financial Institution Fraud Coordinator, and Bankruptcy Fraud Coordinator for the District); Senior Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Southern Criminal Enforcement Section, Washington, D.C. 11/17/86-7/11/92 (including Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria, VA December March 1988; liaison to South Central Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force 11/87-7/11/92); Associate, Bostick, Denny Cox & Arntz, Dayton, Ohio 7/86-11/15/86 (primarily criminal defense work); Law clerk/staff attorney Ohio Court of Appeals, 2nd District, Dayton, Ohio 10/84-7/86 Education Juris Doctor, University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio, 1984 Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance), The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 1981 Professional Activities Chair, Criminal Law Subcommittee, Federal Courts Committee, San Antonio Bar Association, Panelist, Home Health Care Fraud, National Advocacy Institute, Columbia, S.C. Panelist, Bankruptcy Fraud by Attorneys (Ethics) Western District of Texas 2000 Bankruptcy Court Bench-Bar Conference, Austin, Texas Speaker, Bankruptcy Fraud Western District of Texas 2002 Bankruptcy Court Bench-Bar Conference, Austin, Texas Guest Speaker, Fox Tech High School Law Magnet Program, San Antonio, Texas Guest Speaker, San Antonio College Banking Law Course, San Antonio, Texas Guest Speaker, St, Mary s University School of Law, Criminal Practice, San Antonio, Texas
4 Gary Ploetz Ploetz Investigations Gary is the owner of Ploetz Investigations and currently contracts with Chamberlain Hrdlicka Attorneys at Law providing a wide range of forensic accounting and investigative services including litigation support. Prior to owning a private investigation services company, Gary was a Special Agent with the IRS- for 26 years. He conducted a broad array of financial investigations involving violations of the U.S. tax code, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act statutes. The investigations included both legally and illegally obtained funds. While working with IRS-, Gary was assigned to the FBI White Collar Crime Squad and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. As a member of the IRS- International Teaching Cadre, Gary twice traveled to South America to assist the U.S. Department of State in training foreign judiciary members and law enforcement officials in techniques used to investigate money laundering and other financial crimes. He is certified to testify in Federal court as an expert witness regarding all aspects of money laundering. Gary is a founder and President of the Board of Directors of Meating the Need, a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity. Meating the Need is a major supplier of frozen meats and food staples to the Prospect s Courtyard at the Haven for Hope Homeless shelter in downtown San Antonio. Meating The Need has shipped food to the shelter every other Tuesday for 8 years and delivered 32,246 pounds of food in 2014.
5 David Gair Gray, Reed & McGraw, P.C. David Gair is an established tax attorney who is Board Certified in Tax Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He offers his insight into tax matters on his blog, Texas Tax Talk. David focuses on tax matters and tax litigation in the United States Tax Court, United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Bankruptcy Courts and the United States District Courts. David's representation involves complex international and domestic civil and criminal matters. He also does a significant amount of administrative controversy work. This often involves representation of clients who are under criminal investigation, a civil audit or who have serious IRS collection concerns. David's practice also involves business and estate planning for entrepreneurs and businesses with a focus on minimization of all taxes including income, estate, gift, GST, and sales/use tax. His holistic style of planning involves examining solutions that best serve the client from the myriad of taxation, liability concerns, and other regulatory issues. David was admitted to practice in Texas in 2007 and in Colorado in Education LL.M., Taxation, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2006 J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Editor, Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, ; Clinical Practice Award: Low Income Taxpayer Clinic; Scholastic Excellence Award: Labor Law., 2005 M.A., Middlebury College, 1999 B.A., Bates College, 1996 Court Admissions United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2011 United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, 2010 United States District Court, Western District of Texas, 2010 United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2007 United States Court of Federal Claims, 2008 United States District Court, Western District of Colorado, 2007 United States Tax Court, 2006 Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations State Bar Advanced Tax Law and Tax Law 101, Committee Member (2011-Present) Texas Bar Association, Section on Taxation, Leadership Academy Participant ( ) American Bar Association Dallas Bar Association Secretary/Treasurer of the Tax Council of the Tax Section of the Dallas Bar Association ( ) Vice Chair, Tax Controversy Committee, State Bar of Texas Tax Section (2013) Recognition Named a "Rising Star" ( ) and a "Super Lawyer" (2014) by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine Selected as an "Outstanding Attorney Under 40" by the Cardozo Society of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, Tax Litigation, by D Magazine
6 John R. Hunter The Blum Firm John R. Hunter, partner with The Blum Firm, P.C. with law offices in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, and Austin, specializes in the areas of estate planning and probate, asset protection planning, planning for closely-held businesses, tax planning, tax controversy, and charitable planning. Mr. Hunter is an attorney and certified public accountant and is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Tax Law. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics cum laude and his Master s Degree in Accounting from Rice University. Mr. Hunter received his law degree cum laude from The University of Houston Law Center. Mr. Hunter has practiced in both the private sector and with the government, where he represented the Commissioner of Internal Revenue before the United States Tax Court. He is a frequent speaker on estate planning and tax topics. Mr. Hunter is consistently voted a Texas Super Lawyer ( ) by Thomson Reuters an honor given to only five percent of all attorneys in the state, and Fort Worth, Texas magazine has recognized him as one of Tarrant County s Top Attorneys in both Tax Law ( ) and Probate, Estates, and Trusts ( ). Mr. Hunter was also honored as Professional of the Year for 2009 by the Community Foundation of North Texas. Mr. Hunter and his wife, Carmen, live in Fort Worth with their three children.
7 IRS Kurt Bertram Special Agent/Public Information Officer San Antonio Field Office
8 Mission CI Services the American public by investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.
9 $385 Billion Tax Gap Non-Filing Underreporting Underpayment
10 San Augustine SAFO Group Areas EL PASO MIDLAND WACO ALPINE/ PECOS CI and/or USAO Offices DEL RIO SAN ANTONIO AUSTIN
11 IRS Approximately 2,400 Special Agents National Office/ 3 Areas / 25 Field Offices Forensic Lab Electronic Crimes Technology & Support Center Federal Law Enforcement Training Center 10 Foreign Posts
12 San Antonio Field Office Approximately 45 Special Agents Texas offices: San Antonio Austin El Paso
13 Responsibilities Enforcement of the Tax Laws Money Laundering Bank Secrecy Act Laws
14 Investigative Programs and Bankruptcy Fraud Bulk Currency Project Construction industry Corporate Fraud Employment Tax Program Financial Institution Fraud Food Stamp Fraud Foreign and Domestic Trust Gaming Casino Industry Healthcare Fraud HIDTA Task Forces High Income Non-Filers Insurance Fraud Joint Terrorism Taskforce OCDETF Questionable Refund Program Public Corruption Return Preparer Program Currency Transaction Task Forces Telemarketing Fraud
15 Authority to: Interview Issue Summonses and Examine Records Handwriting Exemplars Obtain & Execute Search Warrants Arrest Carry a Firearm Seize Property for Forfeiture
16 What Does a Special Agent do?
17 Practical Exercise 4 volunteers from audience Identity Thief Clerk ABC Check Cashing Clerk Easy Car Rental U.S. Magistrate Judge
18 Scene 1 Easy Car Rental
19 Scene 2 ABC Check Cashing
20 Scene 3
21 Scene 4 ABC Check Cashing Parking Lot
22 Scene 5
23 Scene 6 Residence of ID Thief
25 William Cotter Special Agent in Charge San Antonio Field Office
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