IRS special-agent-in-charge Toni Weirauch, St. Louis field office, often hears that most people don’t know that the Internal Revenue Service has a criminal investigation section.

IRS special-agent-in-charge Toni Weirauch, St. Louis field office, often hears that most people don’t know that the Internal Revenue Service has a criminal investigation section.
She often has to explain to people that the IRS investigates tax evasion, money laundering and structuring (depositing a series of amounts in a bank account to avoid federal reporting laws).
But Friday, she got to show Pittsburg State students in person.
Several IRS agents came by the school as part of a day of training, called the Adrian  Project, in which accounting and criminal justice students were given an opportunity to participate in the workings of the IRS -Criminal Investigation in the form of mock investigations.
“These scenarios are similar to what an IRS special agent might experience,” Weirauch said. “We had several accounting and criminal justice majors here. We just wanted to show how the two meld together. We do law enforcement, but we also do accounting work.”
The 16 students that showed up to the event were divided into teams and performed portions of the investigation, from interviewing informants, doing surveillance, going before magistrates, obtaining search warrants and making an arrest.
PSU staff volunteered to participate in the Adrian Project as witnesses, bad guys and bank tellers.
The Adrian Project is a new program for the IRS-CI. Pittsburg State is also the first school to participate in the program.
“One of our special agents in the Springfield (Mo.) office, Don Puckett, got us started here. He really spearheaded us coming here and helped us in working with the college,” Weirauch said.
The St. Louis field office serves four states: Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
The Adrian Project is also intended, said special agent John Nunez, to help students know about options in their field and to show the students where to apply when they graduate. By that measure, the event was a success for Nunez.
“The chairman of the economics department told me that two students had said this is what they want to do. It’s a nice reinforcement for what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Nunez said.

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.