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Gonzales setting up special Katrina fraud task force

[JURIST] On a visit to the stricken Gulf Coast region with Vice President Dick Cheney, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Thursday outlined priorities for a new Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force set up in the Justice Department to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes like charity and insurance fraud, identity theft, and government benefit fraud. Department officials familiar with the aftermath of other large-scale disasters - for instance, Hurricane Ivan [Wikipedia backgrounder] in 2004 and the September 11 attacks - expect some people will take undue advantage of need and public generosity following Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Fraudulent donation solicitations are already reported to be circulating on the Internet [FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center alert, PDF; NYT report]. The Task Force will include members of the DOJ, FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the Post Office, and other agencies. Read the DOJ press release.

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