Rob Abrazado (flatvurm) wrote,
Rob Abrazado

Accountants With Guns

And so I bring you today's from-the-news tidbit that isn't actually that related to the news item. There's a little blurb in the San Francisco Chronicle (here) about a body found recently on Mount Tamalpais (where I've been, by the way) that has been identified as that of a missing IRS agent who apparently shot herself. But here's the part that caught my eye: "Her IRS-issue service weapon was found by her side..."

Whoa, hold up. IRS agents get issued service weapons?! I mean...I knew there were some badasses working for Treasury (Secret Service, anybody?), but the IRS? Apparently so. [EDIT: I suppose I should have guessed it, but the Secret Service is apparently no longer part of the Treasury Department, but has been reassigned to, wait for it, the Department of Homeland Security. Doy.] I poked around a little, and apparently the IRS has a branch called Criminal Investigation whose mission is to investigate "potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law." From the CI overview on the IRS website:
IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) is comprised of approximately 4,400 employees worldwide, approximately 2,800 of which are special agents whose investigative jurisdiction includes tax, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act laws. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.


As financial investigators, CI special agents fill a unique niche in the federal law enforcement community. Today’s sophisticated schemes to defraud the government demand the analytical ability of financial investigators to wade through complex paper and computerized financial records. Due to the increased use of automation for financial records, CI special agents are trained to recover computer evidence. Along with their financial investigative skills, special agents use specialized forensic technology to recover financial data that may have been encrypted, password protected, or hidden by other electronic means.

None of which really sheds any light on to why CI special agents get issued firearms, but apparently 'tis so. Here's the Firearms Training and Qualification section of their handbook. (My favorite part is the qualifications requirement that has to be met "every other fiscal year quarter." Calendar year quarters just aren't going to cut it. Not in the IRS, buddy!) I keep thinking about that Agent Wallace character from that Untouchables movie. And Sean Connery deciding to bring him along on a speakeasy raid: "You carry a badge? Then carry a gun." Also when he went all berzerker-rage on that Canadian border operation after Stone got shot. You go, Accountant With Gun!

At any rate, I seriously feel we're missing a chance at a boffo movie or TV show about gun-wielding IRS agents. I feel we've already touched on a great number of other armed federal agents from a variety of organizations, but the IRS has been sadly lacking in representation. I want to see some white-collar corporate corner office door getting kicked down and the SWAT team pouring in, shotguns drawn, while two-tone-button-down-shirt-and-power-tie-wearing CEOs and various other functionaries hastily surrender as shouts of "Conference room clear!" and "Coffee break area clear!" sound out from various team members who have to pacify the space. Then the hero saunters in, badge displayed outside the regulation black flak vest with the white block letters "IRS" emblazoned on the back. "Special Agent Wilcox, IRS. We're here to take a look at your books." The CEO would stammer a bit, "I, uh, I don't understand. What's going on here?" "You're being audited. Here," the agent would explain, drawing his revolver and cocking the hammer, "is your notification. Now let's take a look at those ledgers, shall we? And they better be double-entry in legible blue or black ink only. Mr. Thirty-Eight Special here only likes blue or black ink. Move!"

Then again, maybe I'm just starved for entertainment.

As a bonus, today marks the anniversary of the great Boston Molasses Disaster. Sweet!
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