TRaCE

The Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement (TRaCE) Task Force is a pilot program facilitated by California Assembly Bill 576, Revenue Recovery and Collaborative Enforcement Team Act. TRaCE joins existing state and federal resources to collaboratively combat illegal business activities that rob California of public funds and its citizens of public services.

The Task Force is comprised of investigators and special agents from multiple agencies working together to investigate, prosecute and recover revenue lost to the underground economy.

What is the Underground Economy?

Underground Economy, Human Trafficking, Counterfeiting, Piracy

“Underground Economy” is a term that refers to those individuals and businesses that deal in cash and/or use other schemes to conceal their activities, identities and true tax liability from government licensing, regulatory, and taxing agencies.

The State of California loses billions of dollars to the underground economy. Fraud and tax evasion most often occur in cash-driven businesses such as bars, restaurants, used car dealerships, and construction, but is also common in businesses selling counterfeit products and in the tobacco industry.

Tax evasion hurts California's economy as legitimate businesses are confronted with unfair competition, funding for public resources are lost, and employees are forced to work in conditions without basic protections or may even lose their jobs.

Why Should I Care?

Whether you know it or not, the underground economy affects you directly or indirectly. The people who operate in the underground economy are taking money out of your pocket.

  • Illegal underground economy activities often fund organized crime which can impact your local community.
  • Dollars generated from illegal underground activities have been tracked to terrorist organizations.
  • When you buy black-market drugs, your health is threatened from unsafe products.
  • When you pay for services "under the table" you may be supporting human trafficking—modern-day slavery, it ends with us.
  • When you buy knock-off merchandise, you get an inferior product and support those who steal ideas of designers and take jobs from workers that manufacture legitimate products.
  • When you buy a pirated DVD, it hurts every job in the movie industry from actors to ticket takers, and could ultimately affect the price of your movie ticket.

What Can I Do?

California has created the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force (TRaCE) to combat the underground economy and recover tax revenues that fund your public services.

You can help by reporting criminal tax evasion, piracy, counterfeiting, human trafficking and other crimes by clicking on the “Report a Crime” tab above.  You can find more information about the TRaCE Task Force by clicking on the other tabs.

Team Collaboration

Fire Department, Hospital, Police Department, School montage

TRaCE Partners

  • Board of Equalization
  • Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Employment Development Department
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Santa Ana Police Department

TRaCE Executive Board

The TRaCE Task Force is directed by an advisory council known as the TRaCE Task Force Executive Board. The TRaCE Executive Board is comprised of public officials from the Department of Justice, Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Employment Development Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service.

The TRaCE Executive Board holds monthly public meetings in the Sacramento region to discuss policies and operating procedures. These meetings are coordinated by the TRaCE Executive Board Chairperson, who is elected by member agencies. The TRaCE Executive Board reviews and evaluates the TRaCE Task Force operations, goals, objectives, policies and procedures.

TRaCE Mission

The mission of the TRaCE Task Force is to combat organized elements of the underground economy engaged in the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of pirated intellectual property, and other economic crimes resulting in the evasion of business, payroll and/or income taxes.

TRaCE Goals

  • Improve the health of California's economy by combating organized criminal activity.
  • Leverage enforcement efforts from pooled investigative resources.
  • Collaborate and share data with state and federal agencies to identify fraud and unreported or underreported economic activity.
  • Provide a quick response to organized criminal economic activities that defraud consumers, businesses, and the state.
  • Prosecute cross-program violations as one case to fully capture the severity of the crimes and impose stiffer penalties on violators convicted.

TRaCE Community Partners

The following are just a few of the organizations that will be working with TRaCE to help combat various elements of the underground economy:

  1. AT&T
  2. BSA, The Software Alliance
  3. California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
  4. California Black Chamber of Commerce
  5. California District Attorneys Association
  6. California Highway Patrol
  7. California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  8. California Hotel & Lodging Association
  9. California Labor Federation
  10. California Manufacturing and Technologies Association
  11. California Medical Association
  12. California Organized Retail Crimes Association
  13. California Police Chief's Association
  14. California Restaurant Association
  15. California Retailers Association
  16. California Sheriff's Association
  17. California State Chamber of Commerce
  18. California Workforce Association
  19. California Workforce Investment Board
  20. Congressman John Garamendi
  21. Congressman Kevin McCarthy
  22. Counterfeit Report (The)
  23. Executive Office of the President, U.S. IP Enforcement Coordinator
  24. Facebook
  25. Foundation for Fair Contracting
  26. Google
  27. Greater Sacramento Urban League
  28. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  29. International Anti-Counterfeit Coalition
  30. Investigative Consultants
  31. Labor Compliance Coalition – Los Angeles Public Works
  32. Los Angeles Business Improvement District
  33. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
  34. Los Angeles Fashion District
  35. Los Angeles Police Department
  36. Mid-Valley Building & Construction Trades Council
  37. My Sister's House
  38. Napa-Solano Building & Construction Trades Council
  39. Napa-Solano Central Labor Council
  40. National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
  41. Northern California Auto Dismantlers Association
  42. Northern California Restaurant Association
  43. Orange County Business Council
  44. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
  45. Sacramento Kings
  46. Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce
  47. Sacramento Police Department
  48. Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council
  49. San Diego Police Department
  50. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
  51. San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council
  52. San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  53. San Francisco Police Department
  54. Santa Ana Police Department
  55. Senator Orrin Hatch
  56. Senator Richard Pan
  57. SMUD
  58. Software & Information Industry Assoc.
  59. Stockton Police Department
  60. West Sacramento Police Department
  61. Western Steel Council
  62. Yolo County & Golden-Sierra Workforce Investment Board

Stakeholder Meetings

  • January 19, 2016 – Congresswoman Linda Sanchez
  • February 10, 2016 – Environment Task Force (Sacramento DAO)
  • March 30, 2016 – Investigative Consultants
  • March 31, 2016 – IPR Law Enforcement Symposium
  • April 7, 2016 – Fair Foundation of Contracting

If this is an emergency or crime in progress, please call 911.

Report a Crime

The TRaCE Task Force investigates crimes affecting multiple agencies. You can report criminal tax evasion, piracy, counterfeiting, human trafficking and other crimes by clicking on the “Report a Crime Online” button below or you can complete a printed complaint form (click on “Report a Crime by Mail”) and mail it to the address shown on the form. You can also report a crime by calling 1-855-234-9949 if you prefer to talk to a live person.


Report a Crime Online Report a Crime by Mail Report a Crime by Phone
Toll Free 1-855-234-9949

Contact Us

If you would like to report a crime directly to only one of the partner agencies listed below, simply click on the agency’s name to be directed to that department.

Partner Agencies

  • ABC – Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • BOE – Board of Equalization
  • DOJ – Department of Justice
  • EDD – Employment Development Department
  • FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • FTB – Franchise Tax Board
  • HSI – Homeland Security Investigations
  • IRS – Internal Revenue Service

By reporting these illegal activities you help promote a unified front in reducing the underground economy that places an unfair burden on you and honest California businesses. Don't be a victim, report the crime!

Did You Know?

An estimated $8.5 billion in owed corporate, personal income, and sales and use taxes goes uncollected in California each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of information is helpful to include when reporting a crime?

Please include the following details about the person or business if available:

  • Individual/business name
  • Individual/business address
  • Marital status
  • Spouse's or registered domestic partner's name
  • Alleged criminal violation(s)
  • How you became aware of the alleged violation
  • Availability of supporting documents
  • Location of assets (cash, vehicles, property) involved in the crime
  • Banking or financial Information related to the crime
  • Your contact information (optional)

Can the person I am reporting find out my identity?

No. We treat any information you provide as confidential unless compelled by law to do otherwise.

After I provide information to TRaCE, can I receive updates on the investigation?

No. Privacy and disclosure laws prohibit TRaCE from sharing information whether action is taken or not.

If TRaCE uses the information for tax recovery, will I receive a reward?

No. TRaCE does not offer rewards for informant information.

How do I know if you received my online referral report?

If your online submission is successful, you will receive a reference number.  Please keep the number or print the confirmation page as you will need to refer to this number if you want to provide additional information or documents any time after your original report was submitted.

Will I be able to view or print the information that I have submitted online?

Yes, you can view or print a PDF of the information submitted; however, Adobe Reader is required. Click on the Adobe icon to download the free Reader.
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Where do I send supporting documents?

You can attach documents, files or pictures by selecting the browser button on the online form. You can also mail the information to TRaCE, P.O. Box 942879, MIC: 100, Sacramento, CA 95814-0100. Please include your reference number with the documentation.

Can I report a crime and remain anonymous?

Yes. The TRaCE Task Force will investigate all complaints, whether anonymous or not.

What happens to the information that I provide?

Any information that you provide will be evaluated, and if it is not within TRaCE's jurisdiction, it may be shared with the appropriate local, state, or federal agency.

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