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National Crime Victim Law Institute

NCVLI

Project Information:

Education and Facilitation of

Legal & Support Services

Education

Through the Responding to Online Fraud Project, NCVLI will educate victims, victim service providers, law enforcement, and the public by engaging in educational and outreach efforts including trainings and the development of a victim-accessible resource database. NCVLI will provide education on the prevalence and nature of online fraud, prevention techniques, victim needs for recovery, services available to victims, and the rights afforded to those victimized by these crimes. Through educational efforts, NCVLI hopes to raise awareness of online fraud and the needs and rights of victims of such crimes.

International Aspects of Online Fraud

Frequently, perpetrators of online fraud reside in foreign jurisdictions. In cases where the trial occurs in a foreign jurisdiction, victims experience unique barriers to accessing information, support, and justice. In some foreign judicial systems victim participation in the proceedings is not only sought, it is mandated for prosecution to proceed or for it to proceed in a timely fashion. Currently there are no systems in place for notification to these victims of the investigation or prosecution of the case against the offender, no communication regarding any right the victims may have in the foreign jurisdiction, no assistance in understanding the intricacies of the foreign justice system, and no education on what services are available for these victims. The result is that not only are some of these foreign prosecutions delayed or lost due to victim non-involvement, but more importantly from the perspective of a victim-centric approach, this group of U.S. victims is often left wholly in the dark, unaware of the investigation, prosecution, or resources available to them for financial and other recovery.

Facilitation Of Legal And Support Services

While online fraud has become a global issue, research shows that a large number of these crimes are perpetrated by offenders in Romania. As a result, NCVLI will conduct a pilot project facilitating legal and support services for victims whose cases are being tried in the Romanian judicial system. Through the pilot project, NCVLI will coordinate with U.S. and foreign law enforcement to become a hub of information and notification for victims, work collaboratively with Romanian attorneys to ensure legal representation for victims, notify victims of their rights in the foreign jurisdiction and how they can assert those rights, and facilitate other needed support services domestically. Using a victim-centric approach, NCVLI will serve as a liaison between victims and other involved parties to ensure that victims are protected and afforded their rights throughout the criminal justice process.

For more information about online fraud resources, click here.

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NCVLI works to ensure that victims of crime are informed of their rights and can find resources to enforce their rights. We provide general information on our website about the rights of crime victims and also provide referral information to other agencies that may be able to provide direct assistance. NCVLI does not, however, provide legal advice to victims, cannot conduct research on individual victim’s cases, and cannot serve as an individual victim’s attorney

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This project is funded by Grant No. 2009-VF-GX-K020, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.