The Frauds Bureau investigates and prosecutes a wide variety of white-collar crimes, from scams targeting immigrants and homeowners, to wage theft and other crimes against workers, to healthcare schemes that defraud public programs and divert resources from people who truly need help. Protecting Brooklyn residents from all manner of fraud and scams is an essential part of protecting public safety.
Types of fraud and scams to be aware of:
- Companies, organizations or individuals who falsely represent themselves as “attorneys,” “lawyers,” “notaries,” “immigration specialists” or “public officials,” and purport to give legal advice or promise to process immigration paperwork.
- Individuals who falsely promise for a fee to sponsor work visas or to provide employment training.
- Advance fee scams targeting immigrants who seek employment.
- Individuals who pretend to be law enforcement agents, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, and say they can provide or obtain special treatment or services.
- The production and purchase of false documents, including state identifications, social security cards, driver’s licenses and passports.
- Financial and investment scams such as pyramid schemes.
- Construction companies that fail to pay immigrant hires the lawful minimum salary.
- Individuals who falsely promise health care enrollment assistance.
- Individuals or businesses that offer housing and other services but just take your money and then disappear.
The Cybercrimes Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud connected to computer devices, such as identity theft and unauthorized intrusion (“hacking”). The unit also focuses on internet-related fraud, such as e-scams and schemes related to online payments.
The Health Care Fraud Unit investigates fraud in Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance plans, including in managed health care organizations. The unit investigates and prosecutes fraud committed by providers (such as doctors billing for services not performed and pharmacists who bill for medication that was not dispensed), as well as fraud committed by recipients of public benefits (such as fraud involving Medicaid and food stamps).
The Labor Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes employers and others who commit fraud against workers and the programs that are in place to protect them.
Real Estate Fraud
The Real Estate Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud related to real property, including deed fraud, mortgage fraud, and foreclosure rescue schemes, as well as fraud related to landlord-tenant relationships.
- To get a referral for legal and social service providers, such as immigration services, interpretation and translation services, labor rights, law services and benefits counseling, contact: New York Immigration Hotline at 1-800-566-7636
- To file a complaint against an immigration service provider, contact: The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs at (212) 487-4104
- To find out the status of immigration paperwork, contact: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283
- To obtain a referral for a private lawyer, contact: The New York City Bar Association Legal Referral Service at 212-626-7373
Going After Those who Pollute our Environment
The District Attorney’s Office has focused new attention on protecting the environment and prosecuting those who pollute or violate environmental regulations. Working with New York City Department of Environmental Protection and New York State Department of environmental Conservation, the DA’s Office is now spending resources to investigate these crimes.
In September 2015, a Bedford-Stuyvesant company and its manager pleaded guilty to rigging an underground bypass line to secretly dump industrial waste into the sewer system that leads to the highly-polluted Newtown Creek in Greenpoint. Employees at Control Electropolishing Corp., a firm that provides metal cleaning services to a wide array of industries, disposed of unprocessed and unneutralized hazardous waste and sludge in violation of DEP permits.
When inspectors showed up, the defendant instructed workers to insert a plug in order to conceal the illegal pipe, which bypassed a tank that was supposed to treat the wastewater. The company pleaded guilty to endangering public health, safety or the environment and to disposal of hazardous waste without authorization and agreed to pay a $110,000 fine.
Less than two weeks earlier, another company was held accountable for similarly violating environmental laws by failing to monitor its discharge into Brooklyn’s sewer system. Red Hook-based Dell’s Maraschino Cherries pleaded guilty after a long-term investigation found that the company dumped acidic wastewater that was not properly treated as required.
Brooklyn residents are entitled to live in clean and safe surroundings, and so, investigations into environmental crimes in the borough will continue.
- Couple Sentenced for Stealing Identity of Army Veteran Applying for Benefits and Bail Jumping; Ordered to Pay $35,000 Restitution
- ATM Burglary Ring Indicted for Alleged Theft of 19 ATMs and Other Items from Stores and Bodegas
- Doctor and Office Manager at Brighton Beach Medical Clinic Indicted for $700,000 Healthcare Fraud
- Construction Company Operator and Foreperson Convicted in Connection With Laborer’s Death in Brooklyn Wall Collapse
- Former Brooklyn Attorney Indicted for Real Estate Fraud in Connection With Four Properties Valued at Nearly $2.3 Million