Homeland Security Investigations Follow the Money Trails to Combat Crime

In the history of law enforcement, financial investigations have been integral to the arrest and conviction of some of the most notorious, dangerous, and elusive criminals. In 1931, gangster, bootlegger, and racketeer, Al Capone, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he was arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on charges of tax evasion.1 Before that famous arrest, in 1920, the criminal investigative arm of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took down an opium trafficker in Hawaii the only way it could—using tax evasion charges.2

Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and its law enforcement partners are challenged by criminals and criminal enterprises that contribute to the billions of dollars in illicit proceeds that flow through the United States’ financial systems each year. The IRS reports that crimes dealing with or motivated by money make up the majority of current criminal activity in the United States.