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                    LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDS 
                            YOUR PEN POWER

                  SEND THIS LETTER TO YOUR LEGISLATORS 

Police and sheriffs' departments around the country repeatedly tell CUFF that there is a very simple reason why they do not search for fugitives, why  their county district attorneys do not seek extradition for fugitives and why prosecution for low dollar fraud is rare.  It's because THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT.  

PLEASE copy the letter below and send it to your congressman and two senators so local and federal law enforcement agencies can afford to protect all of our communities from scam artists and criminals who flee from justice.  

                                    
           INSTRUCTIONS
Send a Letter:


Copy the letter and paste it into your word processing program.  To do this, position your cursor at the top left hand corner, left click your mouse to highlight the text, then drag it to the bottom.  Then right click on your mouse and select Copy.  Open your word processing program to a new page, position your cursor at the top left hand corner, then right click on your mouse and select Paste. Add your return address, the correct date and your name to the letter, then send it to your congressman and two senators.  Find the address of your congressman and senators by clicking
Congressional Addresses and entering your state and  zip code

Send an E-Mail:

You can also e-mail this letter by going to the
Congressional Addresses link, entering your zip code and state to find your legislators, selecting the "Click Here to Send an E-Mail to Your Members of Congress" link and pasting the body of the letter into the form provided for the e-mail. 

Thank you for being a CUFF Fraud Fighter by using your Pen Power to help pen a criminal.  Your letter will make a difference in our fight to increase fraud prosecution and aggressively pursue fugitives who evade justice.

 

 
                                                                     Date

                                                                                                      Your Street Address
                                                                                                      Your City, State  Zip
Senator/Congressman
United States Senate/House
Office Building
Washington, DC

Dear Sir:

I am writing this letter at the request of the fraud victims' advocacy organizations, Citizens United to Find Fugitives (CUFF) and Fraudaid.com, to ask that you work to eliminate two major impediments to fraud prosecution - the unwillingness of federal agencies to investigate low dollar fraud and the lack of funds in local law enforcement budgets for fugitive extradition.

While low dollar fraud prosecution is shamefully rare in all law enforcement jurisdictions, I am asking that you make changes where you have the power to do so - within the federal agencies entrusted to prosecute Internet, mail and wire fraud.  Currently, the financial "threshold" set for fraud prosecution by the USPS, FTC and FBI is so high that it is creating an easy lifestyle of fraud for con artists who remain within this "safe zone" where the feds won't prosecute and where local authorities often can't. 

As it now stands, if a "low dollar" Internet fraud victim in one state contacts the police in another state where the accused thief lives, the local authorities often refuse to file charges because of their limited budgets and the complexity of prosecuting interstate fraud.  But, even if a county prosecutor is willing to file charges, the victims rarely see justice when the defendant flees the jurisdiction because funding for fugitive extradition is also limited. This deficiency is summarized by the comments of one county prosecutor who told the investigating detective that he wasn't going to spend local taxpayers' dollars to extradite an Internet thief who had fled the state when none of his multiple victims even lived in the state.  

In support of Attorney General John Ashcroft's announcement on November 20, 2003 that "It is a top federal law enforcement priority to stop crime on the Internet," I am asking that you work to change this deplorable situation by creating a national extradition fund that all law enforcement agencies could access in order to return fugitives with warrants to their jurisdictions.  As it is now, prosecutors who refuse to extradite fugitives may save the tax dollars of their own communities but they are inevitably passing the costs of the fugitives' future crimes on to other communities.  Prompt prosecution and incarceration for financial crimes is the only way all communities can be protected from serial scam and con artists.  And this is only going to happen with the expenditure of federal money to guarantee that all fugitives will be promptly extradited when they are located.  

I am also asking that you lower to a minimum the monetary thresholds currently set by the federal agencies that prosecute fraud.  Although the federal government has historically handled only fraud involving high dollar interstate transactions, the Internet has created an urgency to revise this standard.  Many Internet scam artists steal from multiple victims in multiple states.  While the loss for one victim of a single thief may be well below the federal threshold, the aggregate loss for multiple victims of this same thief is often far above it.  But by the time the scam artist is finally charged and convicted for some of these crimes, most of the previous victims aren't even known to the prosecutor and they never see justice. Since the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center alone received 58,000 fraud complaints in the first nine months of 2003 compared to 48,252 for all of 2002 and since the 2002 total was three times that of 2001, it is apparent that these crimes are accelerating exponentially.

Additionally, I am asking that one single agency be designated to handle ALL Internet fraud complaints.  This agency should receive all fraud complaints just as a 911 dispatcher receives all emergency calls.  The complaints would then be entered into a central complaint database, similar to the FTC's globally-shared database, Consumer Sentinel, and assigned to the appropriate agency for investigation.  The database would be accessible to all federal agencies involved in fraud investigation which would make it easier for investigators to recognize multiple complaints against a single individual or company.  When fraud is verified by federal investigators, prosecution could occur on the federal level or at the local level with financial support from the federal government.  

With your help, we can change these deficiencies in our criminal justice system so that criminals as well as the general public will be assured that fraud is taken very seriously by law enforcement.  And the private sector will also benefit as insurance claims for fraud are reduced and the money that would have been lost ($200 million in 2003) by future victims of the thieves can instead be spent on consumer goods and taxes. 

Sincerely,


Your Name