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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Justice Department Honors Federal Team That Identified More Than 60,000 Victims and $100 Million in Financial Fraud

The Department of Justice will honor a federal team with the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award for identifying 60,000 financial fraud victims and more than $100 million in financial losses, during the National Crime Victims’ Rights Service Awards ceremony Tuesday, April 21, in Washington, D.C.

From 2004 to 2009, the company MoneyGram International (MGI) processed a myriad of transactions associated with international marketing schemes, on behalf of scammers who conned victims out of thousands of dollars.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Harrisburg worked together to investigate and prosecute MGI on behalf of the victims of these mass marketing fraud schemes.

MGI executives ignored victim complaints when first confronted by internal fraud investigators and federal law enforcement. By collaborating with the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and the media, who informed victims of their right to file claims to recover financial losses, this team returned $62.2 million to 22,377 victims or their families as of March 2015. Cross-border fraud investigations continue, resulting in the indictment, arrest and prosecution of more than 25 MGI agents and associates.

At the April 21 ceremony the Justice Department will also recognize 11 other individuals and programs for their outstanding efforts on behalf of crime victims.  Descriptions of the honorees are available at the Office for Victims of Crime’s Gallery: https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/Awards/AwardGallery/gallerysearch.html.

The Department’s Office for Victims of Crime leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and hosts an award ceremony each year to bring greater awareness and sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims.  President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance takes place April 19-25, with the theme Engaging Communities.  Empowering Victims. 

About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.

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The Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Middle District of Pennsylvania honored today are Kim Daniel and Christy Fawcett, who have prosecuted cases against international marketing fraud schemes that use financial services network for the past 10 years.  As a result of these efforts approximately 35 individuals have been successfully prosecuted; including extraditions to the United States from foreign countries; other defendants have been corrupt agents of financial services businesses.  In 2013 MoneyGram International, a major provider of financial services in the U.S. and around the world, entered into a settlement agreement that resulted in a $100 million being set up to make restitution to victims.  (see the link to a 2014 MoneyGram settlement announcement).

The investigation of such schemes by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is continuing.

Updated April 21, 2015