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NCJ Number: 50538 Find in a Library
Title: HOW TO FIGHT THE ARSON RACKETEER
Journal: JOURNAL OF INSURANCE  Dated:(MARCH-APRIL 1978)  Pages:22-25
Author(s): C L KARCHMER
Corporate Author: Insurance Information Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Insurance Information Institute
New York, NY 10012
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE ORIENTATION OF MANY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TOWARD PROSECUTING INDIVIDUAL ARSONISTS WHOSE ACTS WERE MOTIVATED BY ANGER IGNORES THE INCREASING NUMBER OF CONSPIRATORIAL ARSONS FOR PROFIT.
Abstract: AN EXAMINATION OF THE MOTIVES BEHIND THE ARSONS WHICH CAUSES OVER TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL LOSSES INDICATES THAT THE LARGEST AND COSTLIEST FIRES ARE LINKED TO INSURANCE FRAUD SCHEMES. PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS, THE ARSON RACKETEERS, SERVE AS SUPERVISORS OF ARRANGED ARSONS WHICH ARE INTERCONNECTED WITH CRIMES OF REAL ESTATE FRAUD AND LARCENY. THE TYPICAL SCHEME INVOLVES THE ESTABLISMENT OF CONCEALED OWNERSHIP OF BUSINESS AND THE SYSTEMATIC LOOTING OF THE BUSINESS, WITH THE EVIDENCE OF THE LARCENY CONCEALED BY A FIRE. THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE PROPERTY BY A HIGHLY SKILLED GROUP OF CRIMINAL TECHNICIANS ALSO CONCEALS THE FRAUDULENT NATURE OF SUBSEQUENT INSURANCE CLAIMS WHICH MAY THEMSELVES BE SUPPORTED BY THE TESTIMONY OF CORRUPT PUBLIC OFFICIALS. THE COMPLEXITY OF THESE CRIMES MAY EXPLAIN, BUT NOT JUSTIFY, THE RARITY OF THEIR PROSECUTION. WHERE ORGANIZED CRIME UNITS HAVE CONCENTRATED ON ARSON FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS, THE ARREST AND CONVICTION RATE HAS BEEN IMPRESSIVE. SUCH UNITS OUGHT TO CONTAIN PERSONNEL QUALIFIED IN INVESTIGATIVE ACCOUNTING WHO CAN TRACE THE INTRICATE FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS WHICH FORM AN ARSON FRAUD. LAWS SUCH AS THE FEDERAL RACKETEER INFILTRATED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS LAW OUGHT TO BE USED MORE FREQUENTLY AGAINST ARSON-FOR-HIRE RINGS. THE CIVIL PROVISION OF THE FEDERAL STATUTE REQUIRES A LESS STRINGENT DEGREE OF PROOF THAN DOES THE CRIMINAL PROVISION, ALLOWING VICTIMS OF ARSON TO RECOVER DAMAGES FROM ARSONISTS WHO MAY NOT HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF THEIR CRIMES. SEVERAL STATES HAVE PATTERNED THEIR OWN LEGAL REMEDIES AFTER THE FEDERAL STATUTE PROVIDING INDIVIDUAL VICTIMS, AS WELL AS INSURANCE COMPANIES AND MUNICIPALITIES, WITH POSSIBLE MEANS OF RECOVERING DAMAGES. (TWK).
Index Term(s): Arson; Business crime costs; Criminal infiltration of business; Fraud; Insurance fraud; Organized crime; Organized crime control units; Organized crime investigation; White collar crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50538

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