Robert S., Mueller testified before Congress and indicated which crimes are now the focus of the FBI. Various internet crimes have become a concern. Cyber attacks from terrorists, according to the director, could have the same impact as more typical type of terrorist attack. Apparently al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have been able to gather the technology to maintain an online presence. Internet fraud and identity theft have been escalating as reported by the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The Center saw a 22% increase in offenses that were reported, actually rising to 330,000 complaints with estimated losses in excess of $550 million. The FBI has responded by manning 56 field offices with more than 1,000 trained agents, forensic examiners, and analysts. Also on the FBI's radar, are individuals involved internet sex crimes involving children from child pornography to child exploitation.
Every Miami criminal lawyer that practices in federal court will tell you that the most prolific fraud crimes being charged in the Southern District of Florida is mortgage fraud. The director specifically addressed the FBI's response to mortgage fraud. As posted in previous blogs, the federal government has thrown massive amounts of money and man hours to investigate both offenses. The FBI is currently using 23 mortgage fraud task forces and 67 mortgage fraud working groups to combat the crime. The task forces are manned by local, state and federal law enforcement offices and are stationed in areas delineated as high-threat mortgage fraud areas. The FBI has also created the National Mortgage Fraud Team (NMFT) which is located in Washington, D.C. to over see all the task forces and to ensure information sharing between task forces and agencies to catch the most egregious perpetrators.
The next most common federal offense being charged in Miami is healthcare fraud. The director confirmed the creation of Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). Mueller remarked about the 94 person Medicare fraud bust that occurred earlier in the month and that FBI is targeting individuals involved billing the federal healthcare system for physical therapy, home health care, medical equipment and HIV infusion treatments that were not necessary or were never provided to patients. Like the mortgage fraud task forces, the FBI has created Medicare fraud task forces using federal, local and state law enforcement agencies to investigate possible offenses and make arrests.
The FBI is also targeting gang activity and violent crimes that are being committed across the United States. The FBI created the Safe Streets Violent Crimes Initiatives that focuses on taking down gangs involved in violent crimes. The FBI targets the most sophisticated and violent gangs that are involved in such criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking and racketeering. The FBI has also been concentrating efforts on prison gangs and gangs that operate overseas. The FBI also discussed efforts in combating public corruption and terrorism. Based on the report, it is apparent that the FBI is attacking all different levels of crimes, not only in Miami but across the entire county.
Statement Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Federal Bureau of Investigation.com