Investigating and Prosecuting Fraud Crimes: Strategies Used by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies take fraud crimes seriously. Learn about strategies used by law enforcement agencies such as FBI when investigating fraud crimes.

Investigating and Prosecuting Fraud Crimes: Strategies Used by Law Enforcement

Fraud crimes are a serious issue that law enforcement agencies take very seriously. The FBI is one of the main organizations that focuses on money laundering and other financial crimes. They work with private sector partners and other law enforcement agencies to investigate these cases. The prosecutor's role is to serve the public and not any particular government agency, agent or police unit, witness or victim.

They must provide independent legal advice to law enforcement agencies on actions in specific criminal matters and on police practices in general. The prosecutor must also ensure that victims and witnesses who may need protection from intimidation or reprisal receive information and protection when possible. When investigating or prosecuting a criminal matter, the prosecutor must consider the nature and seriousness of the sanctions or other measures that might be imposed, the likelihood that an appropriate sanction will actually be imposed, and the effect of such non-criminal provision on federal police interests. The prosecutor should not use a civil exemption to avoid a good-faith report of improper police actions, and the decision not to file criminal charges should be made on the merits and not for the purpose of obtaining a civil exemption. The FBI's white collar crime program focuses on analyzing intelligence and solving complex investigations, often related to organized crime activities. To investigate and help prevent fraudulent activity in financial markets, the Office works closely with several government and private organizations to investigate fraud involving securities and commodities. In order to fully perform the functions and duties of the prosecutor, including the obligation to enforce the law by exercising sound discretion, the prosecutor is not required to file or maintain all criminal charges that the evidence may support.

When communicating with witnesses, the prosecutor must know and comply with the law and ethical standards related to the use of deception and engage in communications with represented, unrepresented and organizational individuals. The prosecutor must not issue a grand jury subpoena to a criminal defense lawyer or a member of the defense team, or to another witness whose testimony may be reasonably protected by a recognized privilege, regardless of applicable law and the rules of professional liability in the jurisdiction. Compensation and benefits for prosecutors and their staff should be commensurate with the high responsibilities of the office, be sufficient to compete with the private sector, and regularly adjusted to attract and retain well-qualified staff. The prosecution must be organized and supported with appropriate staff and facilities to enable it to prosecute and resolve criminal charges fairly and efficiently. In selecting staff, prosecutors should also take into account the diverse interests and composition of the community they serve, and seek to recruit, hire, promote and retain a diverse group of prosecutors and staff that reflects that community. When questions or issues arise that could set important precedents at the state level, local prosecutors should advise and consult with the attorney general, the state association, and prosecutors from other local prosecutors offices. The interests and opinions of the public must be determined by the chief prosecutor and designated assistants in their jurisdiction. In evaluating alternatives in a particular case, they must consider all factors involved.

In rare events when a specific recommendation is made by a prosecutor, it should be addressed to independent and competent counsel.