Financial task force to set up shop in Richmond

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A new financial fraud task force will be announced today in Richmond, combining state and federal organizations to investigate complex issues.

He's the face that leads the headlines: Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme, one of the most high profile fraud investigations in recent memory.

It's schemes like that and other financial fraud issues, this new task force will handle. Reports say, the task force is going to be based right here in Richmond.

The new initiative will be called the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force.

It's being hailed as an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases, here in Virginia and nationally.

The group will partner with the FBI, US Postal Service, IRS and more. This comes at a perfect time, since a recent report from just last year says financial fraud is one of the top two chief growth threats that businesses are facing.

They are calling this an aggressive way to pursue financial fraud. A crime that is sweeping the nation and affecting thousands of people every year, with the shared mission to detect deter and punish financial fraud in Virginia and beyond.

"Financial fraud has affected our financial market. White collared criminals have looted pocket from working Americans. Crimes committed on Wall Street are affected on Main Street everywhere," says US Attorney Neil MacBride.

While this mission will be focused in and around the Commonwealth, this task force will allow criminals from across the country to be investigated and prosecuted here, in a state known as one with a "rocket docket."

"We do believe as we begin to bring cases to this district, we have the ability to move a significant volume of them," adds MacBride. That, being done possibly months earlier than in other judicial districts. But of course that is on a case by case basis.

This task force will combine national agencies, like the FBI, IRS, SEC and Postal Inspection service, with agencies here in Virginia.

"We look forward to better identifying and targeting potential abuse with the idea of deterring and if not, prosecuting those abuses," says Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

This is especially important since in the last 18 months, the number of people and cases, of financial fraud has increased.

We're told there are already some cases in the pipeline so we should be seeing some results real soon.

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