|NW3C Deputy Director Mark Gage (left), Manhattan District Attorney's Office Deputy Chief Investigator of Cyber and Forensic Investigations Richard Brittson, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., NW3C Board of Directors Chairman Glen Gainer and NW3C Director Don Brackman. (Photo/DANY) |
The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) this week presented its 2013 Member Agency Award for Excellence to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in recognition of its leading role in the fight against economic and high-tech crime in this new age of technology. Through its efforts to train law enforcement personnel in digital forensics and its aggressive prosecution of white collar criminals, the Office has “set a standard for others to follow,” said NW3C Board of Directors Chairman and West Virginia State Auditor Glen Gainer.
Chairman Gainer and NW3C Director Don Brackman attended a Financial Crimes and Cybersecurity Symposium hosted by the District Attorney’s Office on Nov. 19, during which the Member Agency Award was presented.
The NW3C Board of Directors presents the Member Agency Award for Excellence to an agency that best exemplifies NW3C’s mission – to provide training, research and investigative support to law enforcement agencies involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of economic and high-tech crime. To be considered for the award, the agency must have demonstrated excellence in at least one of three key areas: (1) investigation; (2) regulatory, and/or (3) community achievement.
In 1978, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office became one of the charter member agencies of the Leviticus Project, which was the forerunner of today’s National White Collar Crime Center. “Our partnership continues to this day,” Director Brackman noted.
Training is one of NW3C’s key services. NW3C offers over 25 training classes specializing in the areas of computer crime, intelligence analysis and financial crime, teaching thousands of law enforcement personnel across the country every year. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, led by District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., is one of NW3C’s leading partners and has demonstrated an exceptional level of participation in the use and support of NW3C-sponsored training.
One example of the considerable initiative the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has shown in its efforts to train law enforcement is the creation of the District Attorney of the County of New York (DANY) Cyber Academy. The DANY Cyber Academy is a joint effort of NW3C, the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to educate law enforcement nationwide in the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime and the collection and use of electronic evidence. The DANY Cyber Academy currently has seven authorized trainers and teaches four NW3C courses on a quarterly basis. Its home base is in New York, NY, but it also recently integrated a mobile training lab, allowing it to reach even more members of the law enforcement community with valuable instruction. At the completion of the Academy’s curriculum, students are proficient in the use of computer forensic techniques in criminal investigations. Since 2006, the Cyber Academy has trained approximately 1,500 law enforcement personnel from over 70 local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Those working within specialized units within the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office have used their digital forensics training in cases involving check and credit card fraud, cyber bank fraud, child exploitation and pornography, cyber-stalking and bullying, and computer hacking. Recently, the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau investigated, prosecuted and shut down a larceny and forged credit card criminal enterprise that had compromised the credit card accounts of over 200 people and netted over $700,000 for the perpetrators. The 14 participants in this criminal enterprise pleaded guilty to Enterprise Corruption, Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and other related crimes.
“District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. understands that training law enforcement personnel is important to the successful investigation and prosecution of cases,” Chairman Gainer said. “Because of his proactive approach, he has successfully established his agency as a leader in the fight against economic and high-tech crime in this new age of technology and set a standard for others to follow.”