The Investigation Division of the New York County District Attorney’s Office is a recognized leader in white collar and organized crime prosecutions. Within our jurisdiction lies one of the world’s centers for global trade and finance. This has led to a role for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that is unusual for a local prosecutor. Because so many of the world’s financial transactions pass through New York’s markets, we have jurisdiction to pursue cases that other local prosecutors cannot. Indeed, one of our core philosophies is that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has an obligation to police the financial markets to root out fraud. We accomplish this by launching proactive investigations that target individuals and entities who misuse our financial institutions for illicit purpose, or whose conduct undermines the integrity and stability of our financial institutions and markets. International money laundering, investment and securities fraud schemes, frauds perpetrated on the markets themselves, and cybercrime and computer security threats are a few such areas.
Because of our geographic jurisdiction, we are able to bring cases addressing criminal conduct anywhere in the United States or around the world that make use of New York’s financial institutions. Our cases targeting the use of New York banks to defeat economic sanctions by rogue regimes and foreign banks are examples of the scope of our jurisdiction and the application of our broad mandate. Since 2009, three cases involving three large international banks have led to the seizure of more than $1.1 billion. Beyond the funds recovered, these cases have changed practices in international banking, and have helped make us more secure against the threats of terror finance and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Investigation Division also investigates and prosecutes more localized and traditional cases involving fraud and corruption, ones that protect the lives and livelihoods of the citizens who live, work, and play in the world’s greatest city. Here too, the efforts of the Investigation Division have an impact on the lives of our citizens. We handle certain white-collar cases that are typical of many big-city district attorney’s offices, including embezzlement, insurance fraud, credit card and check fraud, and other forms of theft. But our portfolio of cases is more extensive, matching the size and complexity of the city we protect. These cases not only recover compensation for victims and large monetary penalties, but they also save billions of dollars in collateral economic costs for all New Yorkers. In this regard, we target such diverse areas as construction fraud, concrete and construction testing fraud, mortgage fraud, organized crime, tax fraud, public benefit fraud in housing, Medicaid, and public assistance, as well as medical insurance fraud and environmental crimes. These investigations also protect our most vulnerable and powerless citizens, through the creation of specialized units to handle fraud against the elderly and against immigrant populations. We are committed to handling all cases in these areas, no matter how big or how small.
The Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations Bureau (FAFI) was created in June 2011. FAFI is staffed with Forensic Accountants / Financial Investigators.
FAFI provides forensic accounting and financial investigative services to all bureaus and units within the Investigations Division, as well as addressing specific needs of the Trial Division. The services provided include the analysis of all manner of financial documents and the preparation of spreadsheets and flow charts to identify and quantify the crimes being investigated, as well as providing Grand Jury and Trial testimony. FAFI financial investigators conduct interviews of targets, victims and witnesses, assist in the execution of search warrants, prepare and serve subpoenas, conduct FinCEN and CLEAR report searches, and conduct field surveillance as needed.
The Public Corruption Unit, part of the District Attorney's Rackets Bureau, was formed in 2014 when DA Vance expanded the Official Corruption and Public Inegrity Units into a unified Public Corruption Unit. This team investigates and prosecutes official corruption and public integrity cases.
Prosecutors assigned to the official corruption side of the Unit investigate and prosecute NYPD officers and other uniformed public servants involved in criminal conduct, including perjury, bribe receiving, official misconduct, larceny, falsifying business records, and offenses involving the sale and possession of narcotics. Prosecutors on the public integrity side of the Unit are responsible for investigating and prosecuting all types of crimes committed by public employees, elected officials, candidates for public office, and others who hold the public trust. The Public Corruption Unit also pursues legislative reform.
Any member of the public with information about a crime committed by a public servant should call the District Attorney’s Public Corruption Hotline at (212) 335-8987.
The Investigations Bureau harkens back to the days of Thomas E. Dewey, who created a small internal force of sworn police investigators to combat corruption and organized crime. Still bearing the official title “Rackets Investigators” that they were given in the 1930s, these dedicated men and women work to support the cases and investigations of both the Trial and Investigation Divisions. From locating reluctant witnesses, to long term undercover operations, to witness interviews, to the execution of search warrants, the District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau supports the core mission of the Office: to investigate and prosecute all manner of crime without fear or favor.
The Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau (“CITB”) is committed to protecting the public by combating sophisticated cybercrime and identity theft schemes in Manhattan and worldwide. Recognizing that the Internet is the crime scene of the 21st century, the Bureau employs cutting-edge technology to thwart cybercriminals by prosecuting check and credit card fraud, cyber impersonation, child exploitation and pornography, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, computer hacking, as well as white collar crimes involving money laundering and threats to financial institutions. Formed in March 2010 by District Attorney Vance, the Bureau works on prosecutions in both the Trial and Investigation Divisions. In addition to highly trained attorneys, the Bureau includes a dedicated team of investigators and forensic analysts, led by nationally-recognized computer crimes and computer forensic experts.
Combating large-scale white collar crime continues to be a major focus of the District Attorney’s Office. With Manhattan as the epicenter of finance in the United States and beyond, this Office is uniquely positioned to fight white collar crime. The Office commits its resources to prosecuting some of the most important and complex economic crimes, while upholding the integrity and security of New York’s major financial markets. The Major Economic Crimes Bureau focuses on criminal conduct committed in the financial sector, including securities, commodities, and investment fraud; mortgage fraud and financial institution fraud; commercial bribery and kickbacks; bank fraud; structured investment schemes; fraud via the Internet; and international money laundering and terror financing.
The Rackets Bureau conducts long-term investigations into the corrupt activities of criminal enterprises. The Bureau is and has been responsible for some of the District Attorney’s Office’s most important cases in the areas of organized crime, public corruption, corruption and fraud in the construction industry, and other specialized cases. Its prosecutions focus not only on specific corrupt industries, but also on the methods employed by criminal organizations to infiltrate legitimate businesses, enterprises, unions and governmental entities. Prosecutions have been brought against criminal enterprises in a variety of industries, including garment, trucking, waste removal, construction, and residential management industries, as well as a variety of labor unions that service those industries. In many of these prosecutions, the defendants were charged with Enterprise Corruption, the New York State version of the federal "RICO" (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) law. This approach allows the District Attorney to pursue civil remedies that complement criminal prosecutions, such as freezing the assets of a corrupt entity or compelling the entity to be placed in receivership. By enforcing the law and using the forfeiture remedies available in enterprise corruption and other prosecutions, the District Attorney is able to recoup some of the millions of dollars lost by the state through fraud and corruption. More importantly, these prosecutions have brought much needed reform within these industries. Assistants in the Bureau work closely with a variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, the New York City Department of Investigations, and the New York State Inspector General's Office.
The Financial Frauds Bureau specializes in investigating and prosecuting financial crimes and fraud that affect citizens and businesses in Manhattan. The Bureau’s prosecutions include employee embezzlement, fraudulent documents, insurance fraud, arson, computer offenses, unauthorized practice of law, thefts committed by attorneys and other professionals, check fraud, offenses related to real estate and housing, schemes to defraud the public, extortion and aggravated harassment. The Bureau also supervises two specialized units dedicated to the protection of two particularly vulnerable groups of citizens. The Elder Abuse Unit investigates financial crimes committed against senior citizens and the Immigrant Affairs Program focuses on fraud schemes targeting the immigrant community.
If you are the victim or are aware of a financial crime, fraud, or other nonviolent offense in Manhattan that requires investigation, please call or write the Bureau.
Financial Fraud Complaint Hotline:
80 Centre Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Northern Manhattan Office
State Office Building
163 West 125th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10027
Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Immigrant Affairs Unit is dedicated to the protection of immigrant communities in Manhattan and investigates and prosecutes crimes that target immigrants. Immigrants seeking residency or citizenship are often preyed upon by deceitful attorneys and other who fraudulently demand large sums of money for services they have no intention or ability to provide. Undocumented immigrants may also be targeted for criminal schemes and exploitation related to their employment, wages, and housing. Immigrant Affairs works tirelessly to encourage the cooperation of documented and undocumented immigrant victims and witnesses who may fear cooperating with law enforcement because of their immigration status. Immigrant Affairs also serves immigrant communities by providing fraud prevention education and resources.
Hotline: (212) 335-3600
The Elder Abuse Unit prosecutes crime involving victims, 60 years of age and older, including those who are impaired. The Unit handles crimes committed against older victims of crimes, including physical abuse, domestic violence, financial exploitation and neglect. We work closely with the New York Police Department and other agencies throughout New York City to improve the older crime victim’s quality of life while providing guidance and assistance as they navigate their way through the criminal justice system. The Elder Abuse Unit is also a part of the Special Victims Bureau within the Trial Division.
Hotline: (212) 335-9007
The Asset Forfeiture Unit is responsible for disgorging illegally-obtained criminal proceeds from criminal defendants and non-criminal defendants who hold criminal proceeds. Forcing criminals to forfeit the funds they have obtained through criminal activity, along with prosecuting them criminally, effectively penalizes criminal conduct and acts a deterrent for future criminal conduct. To carry out its mission, the Unit files civil lawsuits and obtains provisional remedies such as Restraining Orders and Injunctions. Any funds recovered through this process are distributed first to the victims of the defendants’ crimes. If no victims exist, the funds are divided between the New York Police Department, the New York State Offices of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services and the New York County District Attorney’s Office. State forfeiture funds are used by the District Attorney’s Office to enhance criminal prosecutions.
If you are aware of the existence and location of assets that are the proceeds of criminal conduct being prosecuted by the New York County District Attorney’s Office, please call the District Attorney’s Office at 212-335-9000 and request to speak to someone in the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
The mission of the Tax Crimes Unit is to investigate and prosecute those who cheat and steal to avoid their tax obligations to the City and State of New York and those who engage in unlawful financial transactions to cleanse the proceeds of crimes. Its investigative techniques are among the most sophisticated, involving cutting-edge law enforcement techniques and the extensive use of computerized information. The Assistant District Attorneys responsible for these cases are teamed with accomplished forensic accountants, investigators and anti-money laundering experts, and they often partner with law enforcement from many federal, state and local governmental agencies. The Unit regularly recovers tens of millions of dollars each year for the City and State.