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USAO-Middle District of PA, USDOJ Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section, and USPIS-Harrisburg, PA

2015 Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

U.S. Attorney’s Office-Middle District of Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award
Team Members: Nicholas Alicea; Michael Hartman; Robin Henry; Sharon Miller; Kimberly Daniel; Christy Fawcett; Jennifer Calvery; Craig Timm
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Over the last 10 years, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies across the Nation have seen an increase in mass marketing fraud schemes that use one or more communication techniques and technologies to offer false promises of cash prizes, services, goods, or products in exchange for fees, donations, or purchases. 

Through thorough analytic and vigilant investigative efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office-Middle District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, it was determined that from 2004–2009, the company MoneyGram International (MGI) processed a myriad of transactions associated with these international schemes. 

Analysts and Postal Inspectors identified over 60,000 victims of MGI related cross-border fraud schemes and over $100 million in financial losses. MGI Executives were aware of and ignored the many victim complaints when initially confronted by their internal fraud investigators and later by federal law enforcement. Once MGI entered into the deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, a victim remission process was implemented. 

Letters were sent to over 60,000 potential victims. Additionally, the investigative team enlisted the aid of the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the media who also informed victims of their right to file claims to recover financial losses. As of March 2015, $62.2 million has been returned to 22,377 victims or their families. 

Cross-border fraud investigations continue which have resulted in the indictment, arrest, and prosecution of over 25 collusive MGI agents and associates. Additional victims and financial losses continue to be identified and several fugitives are currently pending arrest or extradition to the United States. 

The entire matter reflects the benefits of a coordinated team effort aimed at enforcement, victim restitution, consumer protection and awareness, and creative intervention.

2015 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about the USAO-MDPA/AFMLS/USPIS-MDPA Team, 2015 recipient of the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award.