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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > October
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 7, 2004


Asset Forfeiture Added to Diplomatic Security's Investigations Arsenal

Criminals who commit U.S. passport and visa fraud can now expect to lose more than their freedom. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security can now seize any assets a criminal uses or obtains when committing passport or visa fraud. This week, Diplomatic Security gained the authority to seize assets when it was accepted as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Assets Forfeiture Fund.

With fraudulent or illegally obtained U.S. passports and visas selling for as much as $25,000, some criminals have made millions of dollars in illegal income, which prior to Diplomatic Security’s entrance into the fund, could not be seized or forfeited.

“Seizing the assets of criminals will enhance the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s criminal program, sending the message to individuals contemplating committing visa or passport fraud domestically or overseas that we can and will take away their assets,” said Ambassador Francis X. Taylor, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “Asset forfeiture will serve as another deterrent in visa and passport fraud,” he said.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security can use seized assets to pay rewards to individuals providing information that leads to asset seizure, as well as to provide financial and forfeiture investigative training to its special agents.

For more information, please contact Tara Rigler, Bureau of Diplomatic Security Public Affairs, at (571) 345-2503.

2004/1082

Released on October 7, 2004

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