Tax Division Directive No. 96 (December 31, 1991)Delegation of Authority to Authorize Grand Jury Investigations of False and Fictitious Claims for Tax Refunds
By virtue of the authority vested in me by Part O, Subpart N of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), particularly Section 0.70, regarding criminal proceedings arising under the internal revenue laws, authority to authorize grand jury investigations of false and fictitious claims for tax refunds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §286 and 18 U.S.C. §287, is hereby conferred on all United States Attorneys.
This delegation of authority is subject to the following limitations:
In all cases, the request for grand jury investigation letter, together with the Form 9131 and a copy of all exhibits, must be sent to the Tax Division by overnight courier at the same time the case is referred to the United States Attorney. In cases involving arrests or other exigent circumstances, the request for grand jury investigation letter (together with the completed Form 9131) must also be sent to the appropriate Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division by telefax.
- The case has been referred to the United States Attorney by Regional Counsel/District Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, and a copy of the request for grand jury investigation letter has been forwarded to the Tax Division, Department of Justice; and,
- Regional Counsel/District Counsel has determined, based upon the available evidence, that the case involves a situation where an individual (other than a return preparer as defined in Section 7701(a)(36) of the Internal Revenue Code) for a single tax year, has filed or conspired to file multiple tax returns on behalf of himself /herself, or has filed or con- spired to file multiple tax returns in the names of nonexistent tax- payers or in the names of real taxpayers who do not intend the returns to be their own, with the intent of obtaining tax refunds to which he/she is not entitled.
Any case directly referred to a United States Attorney's office for grand jury investigation which does not fit the above fact pattern or in which a copy of the referral letter has not been forwarded to the Tax Division, Department of Justice (by overnight courier), by Regional Counsel/District Counsel will be considered an improper referral and outside the scope of this delegation of authority. In no such case may the United States Attorney's office authorize a grand jury investigation. Instead, the case should be forwarded to the Tax Division for authorization.
This delegation of authority is intended to bring the authorization of grand jury investigations of cases under 18 U.S.C. §286 and 18 U.S.C. §287 in line with the delegation of authority to authorize prosecution of such cases (see United States Attorneys' Manual, Title 6, 4.243). Because the authority to authorize prosecution in these cases was delegated prior to the time the Internal Revenue Service initiated procedures for the electronic filing of tax returns, false and fictitious claims for refunds which are submitted to the Service through electronic filing are not within the original delegation of authority to authorize prosecution. Nevertheless, such cases, subject to the limitations set out above, may be directly referred for grand jury investigation. Due to the unique problems posed by electronically filed false and fictitious claims for refunds, Tax Division authorization is required if prosecution is deemed appropriate in an electronic filing case.
SHIRLEY D. PETERSON
Assistant Attorney General
APPROVED TO TAKE EFFECT ON: December 31, 1991
[cited in USAM 6-4.120]