Photo of Kevin F. Sweeney

Kevin F. Sweeney

Senior Counsel

Education

Loyola University Maryland, B.B.A. (Accounting) 2002

New York Law School, J.D. 2005 (Cum Laude)

Honors

U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award – 2013 & 2015

Listed, The Legal 500 U.S. – Tax Controversy 2017

Legal 500 Top Tier

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

New York

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States Tax Court

United States Court of Federal Claims

United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals

Profile

Kevin F. Sweeney is a former federal tax prosecutor who specializes in civil and criminal tax controversy and litigation matters. He focuses on high-stakes IRS audits, civil tax litigation, white-collar criminal defense matters, and corporate investigations for high and ultra-high net worth individuals, business owners, and public and private companies worldwide. Kevin’s experience and longstanding connections enable him to anticipate government action, expertly navigate clients through difficult situations, and deliver arguments that resonate with judges, juries, prosecutors, and federal and state tax authorities.

Prior to joining the Firm’s Philadelphia Office as a tax attorney, Kevin was a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division (DOJ Tax) in Washington, DC. At DOJ Tax, he led many of its most successful tax enforcement cases including international tax matters against Swiss banks BSI SA, Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) SA, and Edmond de Rothschild SA. Kevin was one of a select team of attorneys assigned to DOJ’s Swiss Bank Program (SBP). As the first former SBP attorney in private practice, Kevin is uniquely positioned to counsel financial institutions, asset managers, professional services firms, and executives on U.S. regulatory and tax enforcement issues and to represent U.S. citizens and residents with undeclared offshore bank accounts in criminal investigations, prosecutions, audits, voluntary disclosures, and streamline filings.

As a tax controversy attorney, Kevin represents clients in federal and state tax audits, tax collection matters, and litigation in United States Tax Court, District Courts, and Court of Federal Claims including sensitive matters where penalty, fraud, or criminal issues could arise. Kevin has handled a wide array of tax controversy and litigation issues including matters related to cryptocurrency, security tokens, captive insurance, offshore bank accounts, Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs), Controlled Foreign Corporations (CFCs), previously taxed income (PTI), foreign tax credits, passive loss limitation exceptions for real estate professionals, employment and payroll taxes, mark-to-market elections for securities and options traders, hobby loss rules, like-kind exchanges, tax shelters, and state sales tax and residency rules. 

Kevin is a seasoned white-collar criminal defense attorney. In addition to his position at DOJ Tax, he has served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Districts of Colorado and the Eastern District of Virginia and as a prosecutor and appellate attorney in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. Kevin has handled dozens of federal white-collar investigations and prosecutions throughout the country in connection with alleged and possible tax evasion, false tax returns, employment tax fraud, FBAR violations, money laundering, currency structuring, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), public corruption, and other types of financial fraud. Cases Kevin has litigated have been covered by Fortune, Bloomberg, and The Financial Times.

Kevin served on active duty as a judge advocate (JAG) in the United States Army from 2006-2010 and the Army Reserve from 2010-2016. After graduating from Airborne School in 2006, Kevin deployed to Iraq with the 4th Infantry Division where he advised commanders on criminal law issues and internal investigations into serious combat-related incidents. Upon returning from Iraq, he served first as a prosecutor at Fort Hood and then as an appellate attorney in Washington, DC. As a JAG, Kevin litigated dozens of criminal cases and appeals.

Kevin frequently speaks and writes on civil and criminal tax controversy and litigation matters and is often quoted by national media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. He is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

Representative Matters

  • Represents a large international corporation in an IRS audit concerning controlled foreign corporations (CFC), subpart F income, foreign tax credits, previously taxed income, and Form 5147 reporting issues
  • Represents multiple small and medium sized corporations and partnerships in IRS audits concerning payroll and sales tax matters
  • Represents multiple ultra-high net worth individuals concerning cryptocurrency and offshore bank account tax compliance matters
  • Represents multiple individuals under criminal investigation by DOJ and the IRS concerning alleged undeclared offshore bank account, tax evasion, and payroll tax issues
  • Represents multiple witnesses in grand jury investigations including a pool of corporate employees in a high-profile tax related public corruption investigation being conducted by DOJ and several investigative agencies    
  • Represents a U.S. nonresident corporate executive in an international IRS tax collection matter in connection with the attempted seizure of foreign real property 

Previous Experience

  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division (2010-2016)
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado (2012), U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (2016)
  • Major, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps – Reserves (2011-2016)
  • Captain, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps – Active Duty (2006-2010)
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of Swiss Bank BSI SA resulting in a $211 million fine
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of Swiss Bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) SA resulting in a $187 million fine
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of Swiss Bank Edmond de Rothschild SA resulting in a $45 million fine
  • Led the investigation and prosecution of Swiss asset management firm Finacor SA

Media Mentions

  • Tax Notes, “Voluntary Disclosure for Virtual Currency Is Domestic (Usually),” May 25, 2018
  • Tax Notes, “ABA Members Submit Comments on Voluntary Compliance Programs,” May 3, 2018

  • CNBC, “How Cryptocurrency Investors Could Find Themselves Behind Bars,” April 9, 2018
  • Law360, “High Court Criminal Tax Ruling Leaves Some Leeway For Feds,” March 21, 2018
  • The Wall Street Journal, “Mueller’s Tax Case Against Manafort Rests on Hard-to-Get Evidence,” March 18, 2018
  • Bloomberg BNA – Daily Tax Report, “Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program Shutdown Fuels Speculation,” March 15, 2018
  • Tax Notes, “Judge Vastly Narrows Summons on Coinbase Bitcoin Exchange Users,” December 4, 2017

  • Tax Notes, “Marijuana Audit Challenge Includes Claimed Hidden Criminal Case,” October 24, 2017
  • Tax Notes, “Manafort Raid Could Indicate Suspected FBAR Violations,” October 10, 2017
  • Tax Notes, “U.S. Court Decision on FBAR Willfulness Standard Set for Appeal,” December 15, 2016
  • Tax Notes, “DOJ Seeks John Doe Summons on Largest U.S. Bitcoin Exchanger,” November 22, 2016
  • Tax Notes, “IRS Adds 47 Facilitators to Increased OVDP Penalty List,” October 18, 2016

Articles and Publications

Presentations

  • “Navigating the Minefield: Strategies for Establishing and Preserving the Attorney Client Privilege During Internal Investigations," Philadelphia Area Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners, Philadelphia, PA, April 25, 2017
  • “Criminal Tax Workshop,” 33rd Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and 6th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, Las Vegas, NV, December 7, 2016
  • “Eggshell Audits: Handling IRS Examinations With Potential Fraud Penalty and Criminal Issues,” New Jersey Society of Enrolled Agents, Monroe Township, NJ, November 9, 2016
  • “Employment Taxes and Criminal Prosecutions,” American Bar Association 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, Boston, MA, September 30, 2016

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, White-Collar Crime Committee
  • American Bar Association, Taxation Section, Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee
  • American Bar Association, International Law, Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, and Tax Committees

News

News

Presentations

Seminars & Presentations

Publications

Publications

Articles & Publications

  • "What to Do When the IRS Comes Knocking - A 'To-Do' List for Facilitating a Smooth and Robust Audit Defense," Corporate Counsel Magazine, (June, 2017)