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IRS Special Agents Lead Adrian Project at Indiana State University

Students at Indiana State University are getting real-life experience as federal law enforcement agents. The experience involved a hands-on interactive scenario project. Criminal investigation special agents were in charge.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 6:28 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Students at Indiana State University are getting real-life experience as federal law enforcement agents. The experience involved a hands-on interactive scenario project. Criminal investigation special agents were in charge.

This interactive learning session is known as the Adrian Project. It included criminal justice and accounting students. Here's how it worked.

Basically, students headed up a mock financial investigation as IRS special agents. The actual special agents leading the session acted as the fictional criminals. 

There were eight different scenarios. A group of five students was assigned to each one. Each scenario detailed a different financial crime case that students had to solve. 

One student said this was an outstanding opportunity to do what these agents do every day while getting their input. 

Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigations Harry Chavis says their agency loves doing this and the benefit extends both ways.

"What we really try to do is we try to partner like this with universities so we can get the message out about who we are and what we do. It's a great recruiting tool for us," Chavis said.

You really get to see how they investigate and we've gotten to ask those questions and go through the scenarios," Junior criminology student Matthew George added.

Students went through a live exercise where they gathered evidence, deployed warrants, and even confronted suspects. They actually had the chance to collaborate with local police.

In the fictional scenario, a local police officer arrested a suspect who had evidence involved in a financial crime. This could be fraudulent tax returns. That's where the students come in. They talk to the local police and confront the suspect. 

George says he is pursuing a career with a federal law enforcement agency. He says they truly went through an entire investigation just as the IRS special agents would with the agents helping and guiding them along the way.

George says he is thrilled to have this unique opportunity. "These agents are awesome and the professors here at Indiana State are great," he said, "It's super awesome that they've been able to put this on and I'm grateful and so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of something like this."

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