Crime

International crime task force investigating 60 cryptocurrency-related cases, from the US to Australia

June 7, 2019, 4:45AM EDT

Money laundering investigators from the US, Australia, Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands have teamed up to crack down on cryptocurrency-related crimes, including tax avoidance, Sydney Morning Herald writes.

J5 was formed last year by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and bands together investigators from the 5 countries to look into tax avoidance, cybercrime and cryptocurrency abuse. As of now, J5 has 60 investigations underway. According to the reports however, an additional 50 cases may soon be under the microscope.

According to the Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Will Day, Australia is involved in 12 of the probes. One of them targets a "global financial institution" and its intermediaries, which are allegedly helping taxpayers to hide assets and income details.

"We're seeing the use of cryptocurrencies in ways that we haven't seen before," Day said. "At the Australian level, there is definitely legitimate use for investment in cryptocurrencies, but we're also seeing the use of them to facilitate tax crimes."