Crime

J5 targets global fintech fraudsters

The event combines investigators, cryptocurrency experts, and data scientists in an attempt to gather open and investigative sources from the J5 member countries

The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) has announced the launch of a coordinated push to track fintech organisations perpetrating tax crimes around the world.

The event, called “the challenge”, combines investigators, cryptocurrency experts, and data scientists in an attempt to gather open and investigative sources from the J5 member countries, including offshore account information.

First held in 2018 by the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), this year’s “the challenge” will target gaps in fintech regulation that can be used by tax avoiders and money launderers.

Jim Lee, chief of criminal investigation at the IRS, said: “While a great deal of preparation goes into these events, the challenges are by no means a rehearsal for us.

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“As evidenced from the last couple of years, these challenges result in real enforcement actions taken by the J5. They serve as an opportunity to continue to share information and further develop leads, but they also jumpstart investigations.”

Due to the intangible nature of fintech companies’ online assets making activity harder to track, government regulation has led to the need for these firms to have a physical presence in a number of countries.

Alongside the UK and the US, the five member countries are made up of Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands.

This year’s challenge took place virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, and was broken down into two stages.

The first phase comprised legal experts discussing the fiscal, compliance, and criminal options of each country, while stage two resulted in the creation of a list of listed companies where leads suggested criminal behaviour was occuring.

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