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Talking Points of Mary Lou Leary, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs

Financial Fraud Task Force
Victims' Rights Committee
January 20, 2010
Washington, DC

       Thank you, Laura. I'm pleased to be here for this first meeting of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Crime Victims' Rights Committee.

       I'd like to begin by thanking Laura and Marshall for co-chairing this committee. I know from my experience working with both of them that they're both very committed to victims' rights, and that they both understand the harm suffered by victims of fraud. This committee is in very good hands.

       I'm thrilled that the enforcement of victims' rights is taking such a prominent and important role in this multi-agency effort.

       My previous work at the National Center for Victims of Crime - and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office - has given me a tremendous appreciation for the complex issues that affect victims of financial crime.

       OJP's role in this effort is to help find effective ways of dealing with and responding to financial fraud and identity theft. We do this through many of the training and assistance programs from Laura's office - the Office for Victims of Crime. A good example is the National Crime Victim Law Institute, which helps attorneys to provide legal representation and support to victims in criminal court.

       We also support crime prevention efforts that address fraud and identity theft through the Bureau of Justice Assistance. BJA also provides capacity building grants and training and technical assistance to state and local agencies in investigating and prosecuting mortgage fraud.

       We support research and evaluation efforts through our National Institute of Justice. In your materials, you'll find a collection of recent research and journal articles addressing financial fraud.

       We provide data and statistics. Our Bureau of Justice Statistics conducts the National Crime Victimization Survey - and the survey recently added victim impact questions so that policy makers will have better information about the emotional as well as the financial needs of victims of crime, including identity theft.

       OJP also has a Working Group on Identity Theft, and I know Laura will make sure that the efforts of the OJP Working Group inform the work of this Committee.

       I know that Laura will share with you more about what OJP is doing later in the meeting. Unfortunately, I won't be able to stay past this session, but I believe we're keeping notes, and that they will be added to the Intranet site that I understand is under development for this effort.

       We look forward to knowing more about what your agencies and offices are doing, and your ideas on how we can ensure the rights and needs of victims of financial fraud. Thank you.

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