Chainalysis Hires Former IRS Criminal Investigations Chief Jim Lee

In his new role, Lee will advise law enforcement and tax agencies on how they can better fight crypto crime with Chainalysis data.

AccessTimeIconApr 8, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now
  • Chainalysis has hired former IRS-CI chief Jim Lee for a newly-created position liaising with regulators, tax agencies, and law enforcement
  • Lee will help those agencies better use Chainalysis’ data and tools to fight crypto crime
  • In his time as IRS-CI chief, Lee helped take down darknet marketplaces Hydra and Welcome to Video

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.

  • 3 Crypto Tax Tips
    3 Crypto Tax Tips
  • Crypto Tax: Everything You Need to Know
    Crypto Tax: Everything You Need to Know
  • Could the Bank Secrecy Act Harm Crypto? Coin Center Thinks So
    Could the Bank Secrecy Act Harm Crypto? Coin Center Thinks So
  • Coin Center Director of Research Reacts to Proposed IRS Broker Rules
    Coin Center Director of Research Reacts to Proposed IRS Broker Rules
  • 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.


    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Cheyenne Ligon

    Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

    Read more about