The Financial Crime Unit of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is charged with the responsibility of investigating crimes involving theft and fraud. Many of our cases are referred to the Unit by State or Federal agencies and municipal police departments. The Unit works closely with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, United States Postal Inspectors and the Inspector General’s Office.
Many of the Unit’s cases involve instances of employee theft or breach of fiduciary duty. Breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a custodian of property is under a legal obligation to manage or dispose of property for another’s benefit but instead treats that property as his own. For example, the Unit investigates and prosecutes cases where an attorney converts client funds for his personal use or where an executor of an estate fails to make proper distribution of estate assets.
In addition to investigating financially motivated crime often committed by professionals, employees and fiduciaries, the Unit investigates crimes involving computer related theft, identity fraud and credit card fraud.
The Unit’s effectiveness depends upon the careful assembling and analysis of business records and the Unit’s investigations are often time consuming and complex. Unit personnel understand, however, that financial crimes are not “victimless” and that individuals, families and businesses are often financially and emotionally impacted by financial crime losses over the course of many years.
The Unit has placed increasing emphasis on investigating money laundering cases, where individuals seek to hide proceeds of criminal activity. The Unit strives to accomplish the goal of New Jersey’s wide ranging anti-money laundering policy by preventing criminals from enjoying the fruits of their illegal activity.
Financial crime is a crime against ownership of property. The Unit works closely with victim’s attorneys and accountants to bring successful prosecutions, secure custodial sentences where appropriate, and obtain court ordered restitution.