Investigative Reports

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Investigative Reports

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9.5.8  Investigative Reports  (08-10-2004)

  1. Special agents prepare various investigative reports. This section discusses investigative reports relating to prosecution recommendations.
  2. There are two formats used for prosecution recommendation reports:
    1. Special Agent Report (SAR)
    2. Summary of Investigation (SOI)  (08-10-2004)
Prosecution Recommendation Reports

  1. The SAR format will be utilized for all administrative investigations. It may also be used for those grand jury investigations which may require a more comprehensive narrative. For example, a prosecution recommendation resulting from a tax grand jury investigation which has utilized an indirect method of proof would probably best be presented in the SAR format.
  2. The SOI format will be used for grand jury investigations not requiring a comprehensive narrative.
  3. Although the SOI will generally be used for all grand jury investigations, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) has the authority to request the SAR format that he/she deems is most appropriate.


    Both the SAR and the SOI contain tax return information and/or grand jury information and are governed by 26 USC 6103 and/or Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures Rule 6(e) (USCS Fed Rules Crim Proc R 6(e)).  (08-10-2004)
Purpose and Importance of Investigative Reports

  1. The purpose of an investigative report is to logically present the basis for, extent of, and results of an investigation.
  2. The report must be written so that the reader can:
    1. comprehend all the substantive facts and circumstances relating to the investigation
    2. be convinced of the thoroughness and impartiality of the investigation
    3. draw the same conclusions as the special agent, and agree with the recommendations made, based upon the evidence presented  (08-10-2004)
Planning the Investigative Reports

  1. Planning the report should begin at the inception of the investigation. Organization is the key to a clear and concise report, so numbered files and folders should be immediately established for each witness. These witness folders will contain the name, address, and phone and social security numbers of each witness, as well as the exhibits the witness will introduce and a summary of his/her testimony.
  2. Evidence too large to fit neatly into the witness folder will be kept somewhere readily accessible and the location will be referenced in the witness folder.
  3. Grand jury documents will be maintained in separate folders and shall be identified as grand jury information subject to Rule 6(e) restrictions.
  4. Original and photocopied exhibits will be forwarded with the prosecution recommendation and will be properly authenticated by the special agent.  (08-10-2004)
Investigative Report Writing

  1. Document Manager should be used to prepare SARs and SOIs. The formats contained in Document Manager contain self-directed templates and links to maintenance databases that allow the special agent to efficiently prepare a fully integrated, thorough, and accurate report. A number of " drop down" menus provide specific guidance on most aspects of investigative report writing.  (08-10-2004)

  1. All elements of the offense(s) recommended for prosecution must be supported by the evidence presented.
  2. Each statement in the prosecution recommendation report, with the exception of statements made in the Theory of the Investigation and Conclusions and Recommendations sections, must be supported by evidence citations. These citations must be complete, including page and paragraph numbers when necessary.
  3. Statements made in the Theory of the Investigation and Conclusions and Recommendations sections must be supported by evidence cited elsewhere in the report. No unsupported statements may appear anywhere in the report.
  4. All defenses raised by the subject and/or their representative must be refuted, and any mitigating circumstances, exculpatory evidence, or other impediments to prosecution must also be fully addressed. However, speculation concerning potential defenses or explanations that have not been raised by the subject and/or their representative should not be included.
  5. If it was impossible to interview a key witness or to take any other investigative step that would normally be expected, this should be explained in either the "Other Pertinent Information" section of the report or in the Transmittal Memorandum. For example, in an evasion investigation in which the return preparer has died prior to being interviewed, the reason the interview could not be conducted should be noted and discussed. Addressing such issues will underscore the thoroughness of the investigation and prevent unnecessary requests for supplemental investigations.  (08-10-2004)

  1. The narrative of the prosecution recommendation report should only address the elements of the recommended offenses and any other information directly pertinent to the investigation. Repetition should be avoided.
  2. Schedules, summary exhibits, tables, and appendices may be especially useful in reducing the narrative and financial evidence.  (08-10-2004)
Special Agent's Report

  1. The SAR is comprised of the following sections:
    1. Introduction
    2. Theory of the Investigation
    3. Books and Records and Return Preparation
    4. Elements of the Offense
    5. List of Appendices
    6. Disposition of Proceeds
    7. Relevant Conduct
    8. Explanation and Defense of Subject
    9. Conclusions and Recommendations
    10. Appendices
    11. Summary of Witness Statement and Records Provided


    • Recommended Charges and Prosecution Years
    • Returns Filed and Statutes of Limitation
    • Venue
    • Investigative Contact(s) with Subject(s) and/or Representatives
    • Other Pertinent Information  (08-10-2004)
Summary of Investigation

  1. This SOI is comprised of the following sections:
    1. Recommended Charges and Prosecution Years
    2. Theory of the Investigation
    3. Elements of the Offenses
    4. Appendices (optional)
    5. Summary of Witness Statement and Records Provided  (08-10-2004)
Prosecution Recommendation Report Sections

  1. The following subsections describe the various report sections and the pertinent information contained in each.  (08-10-2004)
Recommendation Charges and Prosecution Years

  1. The Recommendation Charges and Prosecution Years section is utilized for the SAR and SOI formats. The section lists:
    1. The violations recommended for prosecution by title and section number. See IRM 9.1.3, Criminal Statutory Provisions and Common Law.
    2. The recommended tax periods or years and the number of counts to be charged.  (08-10-2004)
Returns Filed and Statute of Limitations

  1. This section lists:
    1. Returns by type, form number, and year, if applicable.
    2. Date(s) the statute of limitations expires per each violation. See IRM 9.1.3, Criminal Statutory Provisions and Common Law.  (08-10-2004)

  1. This section lists factors establishing venue for only the recommended judicial district, not every possible jurisdiction that may have venue.  (08-10-2004)
Investigative Contacts with Subject

  1. This section lists names and dates of all contacts with the subject and/or representative.  (08-10-2004)
Other Pertinent Data

  1. This section will contain information that is pertinent to the investigation but is not contained in other sections of the report. Examples of information that would be discussed in this section are factors such as advanced age or severe infirmity that may impact the subject's jury appeal.  (08-10-2004)
Theory of the Investigation

  1. The Theory of the Investigations section is utilized for the SAR and SOI formats. This section consists of:
    1. A brief explanation/outline of the scheme perpetrated by the subject and the evidence that will be presented in the prosecution report.
    2. The method of proof employed by the special agent during the investigation.
    3. The method of accounting used by the subject.
    4. The source of the investigation.



    Although evidence citations are not required in this section, any statement made must be supported by evidence presented elsewhere in the report.  (08-10-2004)
Books and Records & Preparation of Tax Returns

  1. This section includes:
    1. Description of any books and records obtained during the investigation and how and by whom they were maintained in the normal course of business.
    2. Description of the tax return(s) preparation, including what books and records were used, the method of accounting employed, and any statements made by the subject to the return preparer.
    3. Reference to an appendix or schedule for the reconciliation of the books and records to the tax return(s) or a brief statement as to the reconciliation or lack thereof.  (08-10-2004)
Elements of the Offenses

  1. The Elements of the Offense(s) section is utilized for the SAR and the SOI formats. The elements of each recommended offense must be thoroughly addressed, as well as the evidence which proves each of the elements.  (08-10-2004)
List of Appendices

  1. This section contains a list of the appendices and sub-appendices contained in the prosecution recommendation report.  (08-10-2004)
Disposition of Records

  1. This section should contain either (1) a brief but thorough discussion of how the subject spent the proceeds of the financial or tax crime(s) investigated or (2) a reference to an appendix or schedule which documents the disposition of proceeds.  (08-10-2004)
Relevant Conduct

  1. This section includes all information which may have an impact on the sentencing of the subject, even though this conduct may not be within the scope of the actual prosecution recommendation. For example, the report recommends prosecution for violation of 26 USC 7201 for the years 1999, 2001, and 2002. The investigation also developed evidence of evasion for the years 1997 and 1998 but, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, prosecution cannot be recommended for those periods. The fact that there was evidence of evasion during prior years should be included in this section. Information in this section can be presented by an appendix or schedule reference or in a brief narrative format.  (08-10-2004)
Explanation and Defense of Subject

  1. This section must thoroughly rebut all CLAIMED defenses and/or explanations given by the subject and/or his/her representative.
  2. This section should not speculate about what potential defenses might be used or how to refute them.  (08-10-2004)
Conclusions and Recommendations

  1. This section will succinctly and directly state specific findings of the investigation and the recommendations for prosecution. It should not be a restatement of all of the evidence previously presented in the past.


    Although evidence citations are not required in this section, any statement made must be supported by evidence presented elsewhere in the report.  (08-10-2004)

  1. In most financial investigations, the appendices are the most detailed and descriptive part of the prosecution recommendation report. Appendices organize the financial aspects of the investigation into a clear and understandable format. They also consolidate large volumes of financial records, illustrate how unreported income and/or tax due was computed, provide a cogent analysis of the flow of funds, and/or satisfy a variety of other analytical purposes.
  2. Appendices will be used to summarize critical factors of the investigation or elements of the offense, while sub-appendices should be introduced in, and used to support, the primary appendix. For example, if Appendix A is Unreported Gross Income, Sub-appendix A-1 may be Unreported Wages, Sub-appendix A-2 may be Unreported Commissions, and Sub-appendix A-3 may be Unreported Royalties.
  3. The format of an appendix should be as follows:
    1. The header of the appendix should contain the subject's name and the date the appendix was prepared.
    2. The title of the appendix will describe in sufficient detail what the appendix represents.
    3. Where necessary, footnotes should be used to explain or clarify entries.


  4. Appendices are utilized for the SAR format and, if warranted, for the SOI format.  (08-10-2004)
Summary of Witness Statements and Records Provided

  1. This summary is created through the Evidence Manager (Access) database available in the SAR or SOI. It lists all witness contacts and evidence obtained from those witnesses, whether or not cited within the SAR or SOI.
  2. The summary field for testimony or records provided should be brief and to the point. It should not be a restatement of the memorandum of interview or a repeat of the description of the evidence, nor should it be a lengthy narrative.
  3. Both the SAR and SOI formats must have a Summary of Witness Statements and Records Provided. The preparation and presentation of this Summary is mandatory. Although the preparation of the List of Witnesses and Exhibits is mandatory in order to cite the SAR and SOI, its presentation with the final report is optional.  (08-10-2004)
Report of Supplement Investigation

  1. Supplemental reports add to or clarify information contained in the previously submitted prosecution report on the same subject(s). It may be initiated by a special agent to transmit information obtained since the original was submitted or it may be prepared in response to a request made during the review process subsequent to referral by the SAC. The content of the report is limited to the issue(s) previously addressed, but may include any additional witnesses or exhibits.  (08-10-2004)
Report of Discontinued Investigation

  1. As soon as it becomes apparent that prosecution is not likely to be recommended in a subject criminal investigation, the special agent will prepare a Report of Discounted Investigation. See IRM 9.5.14, Closing Procedures.

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