University News

WIU alumnus Gabriel Grchan
[Download Print-Quality Image]

WIU Alumnus Heading IRS Criminal Investigation Division - Chicago

June 14, 2017

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University alumnus has been named special agent-in-charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Chicago Field Office.

Gabriel Grchan, a 1994 accountancy graduate, took over the office in April, moving from a position as deputy director/acting director of operations, policy and support in Washington, D.C. The Silvis, IL, native began working for the IRS in 1995 when he was one semester into WIU's accountancy master's degree program.

"WIU is well known for having an outstanding accounting program," said Grchan. "To be a successful special agent, you need to have strong forensic accounting, interpersonal and law enforcement skills. I built the first two while completing my degree at WIU and the law enforcement skills at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), located in Glynco, GA."

Grchan credits his WIU faculty for helping craft the skills he needed to move up in the IRS.

"I had excellent instructors at WIU, especially Dr. Tony Falgiani," he said. "They helped me build not only accounting skills, but also helped me learn how to communicate effectively. I have been able to translate this education into my work as a special agent and have built on it throughout my management and executive career."

At the Chicago Field Office, Grchan is responsible for investigating criminal violations of the tax code and related financial crimes. The office covers Illinois and Indiana, and Grchan oversees 130 employees and about 100 special agents, who are responsible for investigating crimes involving taxes, money laundering, public corruption, cyber-crime, ID theft, narcotics and terrorist-financing.

Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Grchan was the special agent-in-charge of the New Orleans, LA, Field Office; assistant special agent-in-charge of the Phoenix, AZ, Field Office; a senior analyst in Washington, D.C.; a supervisory special agent in Chicago and a special agent for the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Davenport, IA. While completing his bachelor's degree from WIU, Grchan served a six-week internship with the Davenport IRS-Criminal Investigation Division.

"The most enriching part of my job is the people I meet and interact with every day," said Grchan. "This includes the agents and professional staff in my office, as well as my counterparts from other federal law enforcement agencies, the United States Attorney's offices, the IRS civil division and our state and local law enforcement partners. The agents in my office are highly respected and known as the premier financial investigators in the world. It is an honor to work with them on a daily basis."

Grchan said his goal for his new job is to "increase voluntary compliance by deterring tax fraud."

"I would like us to be proactive in identifying new tax schemes to stay ahead of fraudulent activity. In particular, technology has made our cybercrimes more pervasive, so I have made it a priority in our office to focus on tax crimes enabled by the Internet. Additionally, I have put a focus on employment tax fraud, identity theft tax fraud and illegal offshore tax havens. We will also continue to assist our law enforcement partners in public corruption, organized crimes, drug trafficking and terrorism cases by investigating tax fraud, money laundering activities and other financial crimes."

Grchan's family has strong WIU roots, with his father, Michael Grchan, graduating from Western's Law Enforcement and Justice Administration program with bachelor's and master's degrees. The elder Grchan taught LEJA classes for several years on WIU's Quad Cities campus and was employed by the Rock Island Sheriff's Office for more than 30 years, serving as sheriff from 1990-2006.

The IRS still offers the internship program where Grchan got his initial experience with the agency. During his time with the IRS, Grchan said he has also encountered several other special agents who are WIU alumni. He encourages anyone interested in applying for an IRS special agent position to visit or

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing