ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY VIPAL J. PATEL ADDRESSES COMBATTING HATE CRIMES
“Being a victim of crime is hard enough but being a victim of crime because of hatred towards one’s race, origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or genetics tears at the soul,” said Acting United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel. “Through our criminal and civil enforcement efforts, which will include going to higher courts if we have to, we will continue to hold accountable those in our district who engage in these despicable acts, and seek to deter others from following suit. Positive, voluntary change is the goal, but for those who don’t, they can face us.”
Patel shared United States Attorney General Merrick Garland’s initiative to bolster Justice Department efforts to combat hate crimes, as well as resources for those in the community who want to learn more.
Patel, a career prosecutor, and long-time member of the management team in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, was named Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio on March 1. The resident of Dayton became an Assistant United States Attorney in 2000.
For more information on hate crimes:
- Access a comprehensive collection of DOJ’s hate crime resources here.
- If you’d like to learn more about advocating against hate crimes, Asian Americans Advancing Justice is offering multiple bystander intervention virtual trainings in April and May. The one-hour, interactive trainings are free and require registration.
- The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association provides information on pro bono legal resources to address hate crimes and bias incidents.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate crime or civil rights violation, please report it to civilrights.justice.gov or justice.gov/hatecrimes/get-help-now. You can also find these reporting sites on our U.S. Attorney’s Office homepage.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WARNS ABOUT FAKE POST-VACCINE SURVEY SCAMS
The Department of Justice has received reports that fraudsters are creating fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine surveys for consumers to fill out with the promise of a prize or cash at the conclusion of the survey. In reality, the surveys are used to steal money from consumers and unlawfully capture consumers’ personal information.
Consumers receive the surveys via email and text message, and are told that, as a gift for filling out the survey, they can choose from various free prizes, such as an iPad Pro. The messages claim that the consumers need only pay shipping and handling fees to receive their prize. Victims provide their credit card information and are charged for shipping and handling fees, but never receive the promised prize. Victims also are exposing their personally identifiable information (PII) to scammers, thereby increasing the probability of identity theft.
Unless from a known and verified source, consumers should never click on links in text messages or emails claiming to be a vaccine survey.
If you believe you may have entered information into a fraudulent website, you can find resources on how to protect your information at: www.identitytheft.gov.
ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY PATEL REMINDS PUBLIC THAT EVICTION BAN EXTENDED UNTIL JUNE 30
As part of the federal response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Acting U.S. Attorney Patel is reminding landlords of their obligations and tenants of their rights under the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Order temporarily halting residential evictions of tenants who meet certain income eligibility requirements and who are unable to pay their full rent due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. The Order prohibits landlords from evicting such tenants for non-payment of rent from Sept. 4, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Under the CDC Order, tenants who meet income eligibility requirements (generally, those earning less than $99,000 per year, or $198,000 if filing jointly) and who are unable to pay their full rent due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses can obtain protection from eviction by providing a sworn declaration regarding their situation to their landlord. Once this declaration is provided, a landlord is prohibited from evicting the tenant while the moratorium remains in effect, and is subject to substantial penalties, including fines of up to $250,000 and up to a year in jail.
“The Order is not intended to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings, but rather to stop the actual eviction of a covered person for non-payment of rent,” Patel says. “Moreover, the Order does not affect the obligation of tenants to pay rent, nor does it bar the collection of fees, penalties, and interest."
NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK - APRIL 18 - 24
The 40th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) will be observed April 18-24, 2021. Every April, the Office for Victims of Crime leads communities throughout the country in observing the week. This year’s theme – Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. – emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime.
U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Specialist Acquanette Lindsay is being honored with a crime victims’ service award on April 23 as part of NCVRW. Lindsay will receive the Federal Service Award, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts of federal agency personnel who make significant contributions in service of victims.
Find events in your community, webinars and virtual candlelight vigils here.