The IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) is set to launch a groundbreaking pilot program in June, deploying cyber attachés to four continents worldwide in a concerted effort to combat cybercrime. With a specific focus on tax and financial crimes involving cryptocurrency, decentralized finance, peer-to-peer payments, and mixing services, this initiative aims to bolster global efforts in combating cyber threats.
Global Collaboration with Cyber Attachés Program
Four highly skilled individuals have been selected to serve as cyber attachés and will collaborate with international law enforcement counterparts in Asia, Europe, South America, and Australia. The cyber attachés, equipped with extensive expertise in investigating cybercrime, will be stationed in Sydney, Australia; Bogota, Colombia; Frankfurt, Germany; and Singapore for a 120-day period from June to September 2023.
IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee emphasized the importance of providing foreign counterparts with the necessary tools and expertise to effectively combat cybercrime. The deployment of the cyber attachés will strengthen relationships and facilitate coordinated efforts on a global scale.
The cyber attachés appointed for this program include Stacey Perez, based in Bogota, Colombia. With over a decade of experience as an IRS-CI special agent, Perez has specialized in investigating identity theft, money laundering, and cyber money laundering. Fluent in Spanish, she possesses active licenses for multiple cyber investigative tools.
IRS-CI’s Special Agents
Peter Dickerman, based in Frankfurt, Germany, joined IRS-CI in 2003 after serving with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Germany. As a computer investigative specialist since 2013, Dickerman has played a key role in digital forensics and leads the Cyber Enterprise Systems and Macintosh Forensics teams for the agency.
David Strager, positioned in Sydney, Australia, joined IRS-CI in 2011 after starting his IRS career on the civil side in 2008. He has overseen criminal investigations involving cryptocurrency tax evasion, money laundering, and international fraud. Strager holds cryptocurrency certifications and active licenses for cryptocurrency tracing tools.
Cuong Ly, based in Singapore, began his IRS career in 2009 as a revenue agent and transitioned to become an IRS-CI special agent in 2014. His investigative experience spans international money laundering, darknet marketplaces, and financially motivated cybercrimes. Ly, fluent in Vietnamese and Cantonese, possesses various cyber certifications.
This pilot program builds upon the success of the existing permanent cyber attaché position at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, established in June 2020. The program aims to establish partnerships and conduct joint law enforcement operations with European counterparts.