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In a significant announcement shaking the foundations of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) crime-fighting division, Chief Jim Lee of the Criminal Investigation (CI) unit has declared his retirement, effective April 6. Lee, a stalwart figure in financial law enforcement, leaves a formidable legacy marked by the relentless pursuit and unraveling of complex financial crimes.

Assuming the helm of CI in October 2020, Lee has steered a workforce exceeding 3,200 employees, including 2,200 specialized agents, to pursue justice. Under his leadership, CI has become a force to be reckoned with, investigating many financial wrongdoings ranging from tax violations and money laundering to cybercrime and terrorism financing.

“Chief Lee has exemplified the highest standards of federal service throughout his tenure,” remarked IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, acknowledging Lee’s profound contributions. “His leadership has propelled CI to new heights, making significant strides in combating financial crimes on a global scale.”

Lee’s tenure has been characterized by the unwavering dedication of his team, including self-employed individuals, who have tackled some of the most intricate financial schemes in history. From the shutdown of significant darknet marketplaces to record-breaking financial seizures, CI, under Lee’s guidance, has delivered impactful enforcement actions, leaving a lasting mark on the agency’s 100-plus-year history.

“It has been the honor of my career to serve as the chief of CI and represent the 3,000-plus employees within the division,” remarked Lee, reflecting on his journey. “I have been fortunate to be surrounded by talented men and women across every discipline of the organization as we have unraveled some of the most complex financial crimes this world has ever seen.”

Lee’s distinguished service has earned him accolades, including the prestigious 2023 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service and a co-chair position in the Treasury Department’s Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force. His commitment to excellence and tireless pursuit of justice have shaped CI’s mission and vision.

Before assuming the role of chief, Lee’s illustrious career within CI saw him serve in various leadership positions, including deputy chief, special agent in charge of several field offices, and executive roles overseeing strategy and operations.

As Lee prepares to step down, the IRS faces the daunting task of finding a worthy successor to fill his shoes. The void left by Lee’s departure will undoubtedly be felt within the agency’s crime-fighting efforts. Still, his legacy of integrity, excellence, and unwavering dedication, including the contributions of self-employed individuals, will continue to inspire future generations of financial law enforcement professionals.

Source (IRS News).