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Queens gets grant to fight fraud, auto theft

A recent announcement by the Queens district attorney indicates that prosecutors are gearing up to fight insurance fraud and vehicle thefts in the borough due to a large grant from the Division of Criminal Justice Services. The grant package is worth $3.7 million. Queens will get the largest piece of the pie -- a $556,000 award.

Even though statistics point to a significant drop in the rate of car thefts in the borough, the 106th precinct remains a hotbed of stolen vehicle activity, according to a deputy inspector with the 106th.

The grant money will be funneled to the Auto Crime and Insurance Fraud Unit, a subset of the Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, which investigates and prosecutes insurance fraud and auto theft. The unit takes a multifaceted approach using confidential informants, special deep-cover agents engaged in long-term sting operations and investigations. They also utilize the latest technologies to surveil suspects and partner with other police agencies and insurance investigators to share information.

It is quite likely that the influx of this grant money will result in more arrests and prosecutions in Queens for vehicle theft and insurance fraud. It could be very easy for innocent people or those only peripherally involved in criminal activity to find themselves drawn into the nightmare of an active police investigation and facing serious charges.

In the worst case scenario, if you find yourself behind bars on criminal charges, you will need to get representation by a criminal defense attorney. It is always prudent to avail yourself of your constitutional right to remain silent and request to speak to an attorney before agreeing to talk to either police or prosecutors.

Source: The Forum Newsgroup, "DA’s Office Will Use Grant Money to Address Automobile Crimes" Michael V. Cusenza, Jan. 15, 2015

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