Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has formed a data-focused unit to help his office focus on the financial aspects of criminal activity from street crime to cybercrime, said David Szuchman, chief of the D.A.’s Investigation Division.
Twenty analysts assigned to the Financial Intelligence Unit will track financial crimes by reviewing data from banking, regulatory, law enforcement and open-source data, Vance said today in a statement. The unit will refer potential cases to the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, under which it operates, and coordinate with agencies including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Secret Service.
“If someone is violating the law in a criminal way we want to follow the money and take proceeds of their criminal conduct away from them,” Szuchman said in a phone interview. The unit will be involved in gang violence and narcotics, as well as more traditional financial crimes, Szuchman said.
It will be overseen by Assistant District Attorney Jordan Arnold, and Polly Greenberg, chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau.
“As financial information has made the leap from ledger books to online sources, this new unit will be tasked with making sure these sets of data are analyzed, which will enhance our prosecutions of everything from classic white-collar crimes to street crimes to cybercrime,” Vance said in the statement.
An economic-crimes unit formed in November 2010 has reviewed thousands of filings that generated investigative leads, Vance’s office said. The new unit will cooperate with federal authorities or other district attorneys’ offices in cases where jurisdictional issues prevent Vance’s office from bringing a case, according to the statement.
“Working with the FIU provides additional opportunities for local, state and federal agencies to join forces and combat financial crime,” Richard Weber, the IRS’s chief of criminal investigation, said in the statement.
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