Overview and Priorities: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigates matters relating to fraud, theft, or embezzlement occurring within or against the national and international financial community. These crimes are characterized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent upon the application or threat of physical force or violence. Such acts are committed by individuals and organizations to obtain personal or business advantage. The FBI focuses its financial crimes investigations on such criminal activities as corporate fraud, securities and commodities fraud, health care fraud, financial institution fraud, mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, mass marketing fraud, and money laundering. These are the identified priority crime problem areas of the Financial Crimes Section (FCS) of the FBI.
Mission: The mission of the FCS is to oversee the investigation of financial fraud and to facilitate the forfeiture of assets from those engaging in federal crimes.
In fiscal years (FY) 2010-2011, the FCS was comprised of the Asset Forfeiture/Money Laundering Unit (AF/MLU), the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU), the Health Care Fraud Unit (HCFU), the Forensic Accountant Unit (FAU), the Financial Institution Fraud Unit (FIFU), and the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC).
The ECU is responsible for significant frauds targeted against individuals, businesses, and industries, to include corporate fraud, insurance fraud (non-health care-related), securities and commodities fraud (e.g., investment fraud schemes such as Ponzi, pyramid, and advanced fee schemes and securities market manipulation schemes), and mass marketing fraud.
The HCFU oversees investigations targeting individuals and/or organizations who are defrauding public and private health care systems. Areas investigated under the HCFU include billing for services not rendered, billing for a higher reimbursable service than performed (upcoding), performing unnecessary services, kickbacks, unbundling of tests and services to generate higher fees, durable medical equipment (DME) fraud, pharmaceutical drug diversion, outpatient surgery fraud, and Internet pharmacy sales.
The mission of the FIFU is to identify, target, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations and individuals who engage in fraud schemes which impact financial institutions, particularly in the areas of mortgage fraud and bank failures.
The mission of the AF/MLU as it relates to financial institution fraud (FIF) is to identify, target, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations and individuals through the strategic use of asset forfeiture; and to ensure that field offices employ the money laundering violation in all investigations, where appropriate, to assist in the disruption and/or dismantlement of criminal enterprises.
The AF/MLU also has responsibilities for the management of the Forfeiture Support Project (FSP) in Calverton, Maryland.