For Immediate Release: December 18, 2013

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES NEARLY $4 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT TO FIGHT MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT, INSURANCE FRAUD

Grants used to target theft and fraudulent claims that cost consumers and insurers millions annually

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state will provide nearly $4 million in grant funding to 29 police departments, district attorneys’ offices and other agencies to combat motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud in New York State.

“Motor vehicle insurance fraud is a crime that costs New York’s consumers and insurers millions of dollars every year,” Governor Cuomo said. “Under the State’s Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention program, we are empowering local law enforcement agencies with additional resources to combat this problem, enhancing efforts to track down those who break the law and increasing protection for our consumers.”

The grant is available through the state’s Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention program, which is overseen by a 12-member board that develops the state’s strategy for combating motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud, in addition to reviewing grant applications and making the grant awards. The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) serves as the staff for the board and administers the grant program, which targets the state’s urban centers and is funded through a $10 fee assessed on insurance policies issued for vehicles registered in the state.

Recipients will use the grants to target suspected motor vehicle insurance fraud and continue efforts to combat motor vehicle theft, which has been steadily declining in New York. Since 1997, the number of motor vehicle thefts reported in the state has declined 90 percent. In 2012, 18,677 incidents of suspected motor vehicle insurance fraud were reported to the Insurance Frauds Bureau of the state Department of Financial Services (DFS), a 9 percent increase over 2011, when 17,121 suspected incidents of fraud were reported. The 2012 incidents included motor vehicle theft; motor vehicle arson; larceny from a vehicle; motor vehicle fraud claims and no-fault insurance claims, all of which were not legitimate.

DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael C. Green, who chairs the Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Board, said, “Even as we see the numbers of motor vehicle thefts go down, we must remain vigilant in fighting fraud in motor vehicle insurance. That is an effort that requires a collaborative effort among local law enforcement, state, federal and insurance industry partners to track down wrongdoers and find ways to prevent fraud from happening in the first place.”

The following 29 agencies will receive grants and use them in a variety of ways to combat fraud, including: funding either all or a portion of the salaries of assistant district attorneys and investigators specifically assigned to handle motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud cases; funding enhanced enforcement and sting operations; and offering specialized training for prosecutors, police officers and investigators.

Statewide Training Grants

  • New York Anti-Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT): $57,000
  • The New York State Prosecutor’s Training Institute (NYPTI): $31,900

New York City

  • New York City Police Department: a total of $289,700 to two specialized units, the Auto Crime Division and Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad
  • Fire Department of New York: $104,900
  • Bronx County District Attorney’s Office: $302,500
  • Kings County District Attorney’s Office: $227,200
  • New York County District Attorney’s Office: $275,000
  • Queens County District Attorney’s Office: $568,200
  • Richmond County District Attorney’s Office: $77,100

Long Island

  • Nassau County District Attorney’s Office: $169,100
  • Nassau County Police Department: $130,000
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office: $315,100
  • Suffolk County Police Department: $143,200

Hudson Valley

  • Westchester County District Attorney’s Office: $300,900
  • Yonkers Police Department: $139,400

Capital Region

  • Albany Police Department: $36,500
  • Albany County District Attorney’s Office: $68,100

Central New York

  • Syracuse Police Department: $26,000

Western New York

  • Erie County District Attorney’s Office: $120,700
  • Monroe County District Attorney’s Office: $125,000
  • Niagara County District Attorney’s Office: $152,100
  • Buffalo Police Department: $121,000
  • Cheektowaga Police Department: $48,000
  • Niagara Falls Police Department: $36,500
  • Rochester Police Department: $42,200
  • Monroe County Sheriff’s Office: $31,200
  • Niagara County Sheriff’s Office: $21,500

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training, collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state’s DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.

Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
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