Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The IRS Criminal Investigation unit is wrapping up its investigations for 2023, with impressive numbers. It initiated nearly 3,000 criminal investigations, identified over $37 billion from tax and financial crimes, and obtained an 88.4 percent conviction rate.

KGVO News spoke to Jeff Obie, Supervisory Special Agent for Montana about two of the biggest convictions in the state, including that of Theresa Chabot, who bilked her most senior citizen victims out of millions of dollars.

The IRS had an 88 Percent Conviction Rate on Tax Fraud Cases

“Teresa was a woman who was operating as what we call a ‘money mule’ here in Montana,” began Obie. “She was helping to facilitate fraud that was originating overseas with a number of individuals located domestically here in the US and including folks here in Montana. She ended up getting sentenced to 57 months in prison and had to pay over $2 million in restitution.”

Another individual apprehended and punished by the IRS in Montana was Gina Mann. Obie told her story.

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One Victim stated 'She Ruined my Life and I Have to Live with That'

“Gina Mann was a family friend of the victim, and after the victims spouse passed away, Gina stepped in to help with the finances and things of that nature for the victim,” he said. “By virtue of that, she was able to take advantage of the victim’s bank accounts, apply for more credit accounts and things of that nature and really just embezzle for lack of a better word from the victim and take advantage of the financial situation there.”

In a statement supplied by Mann’s victim, he said ‘She ruined my life and I will live with it for the rest of my life, trying to fix the mess she has created.’

The Tax Gap Contains $688 Billion that were not Collected in the U.S.

Another project undertaken by the entire IRS Criminal Investigation Unit is what Obie called ‘the tax gap’.

“The tax gap is the difference between the amount of tax that is owed by taxpayers for a given year versus the amount that was actually paid,” he said. “There are a number of different ways that they project and calculate that, but ultimately for 2021, which is the most recent year that they can do projections on, it was $688 billion ‘with a B’ that was not collected.”

The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.

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