Chainalysis Hires Former IRS Criminal Investigations Chief Jim Lee

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Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has hired Jim Lee, the former chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) unit, according to a memo from the company sent Monday.

In his newly-created role of Global Head of Capacity Building, Lee will liaise with regulators, law enforcement, tax agencies and financial institutions, advising them on ways to build their capacity to fight crypto crime using Chainalysis’ data and tools.

Lee retired from the IRS in March, after three years as IRS-CI chief and 29 years total of of service at the agency. Under his leadership, IRS-CI shut down Hydra, a darknet marketplace, and seized crypto from Hamas. Lee was also at the helm of the takedown of Welcome to Video, a darknet marketplace for child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) that accepted crypto payments. In the wake of the shut down, 23 children were rescued and 337 child abusers were arrested.

Chainalysis also played a role in each of those three cases.

“Crypto is the future of finance, which also means it’s the future of crime,” Lee wrote in a Monday blog post on Chainalysis’ website. He added that each of the cases were “reflective of the fact that cryptocurrency is, at least in part, being used for a wide range of nefarious activities.”

“But by equipping law enforcement agencies with the best-in-class tools and data to fight this activity, we can ensure that the crypto ecosystem remains as safe as possible, so that people around the world can realize its many benefits without fear of being targeted by criminals,” Lee said.

Stephen Alpher edited this story.

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