Bureaus / Units
The Investigations Division is comprised of six bureaus – Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, Major Economic Crimes Bureau, Frauds Bureau, Public Corruption Bureau, Housing and Worker Protection, and Human Trafficking Bureau. These uniquely specialized Bureaus investigate and prosecute complex criminal activity throughout Queens in addition to helping residents avoid being victimized through complex schemes.
During her first year in office, Queens DA Melinda Katz created the Frauds Bureau to investigate and prosecute crimes related to embezzlement, investment scams, insurance fraud, online scams, confidence schemes, trademark counterfeiting, environmental crimes, tax fraud, unemployment fraud, worker’s compensation fraud, section 8 housing fraud, SNAP benefit fraud, and financial crimes targeting the elderly. Within the Frauds Bureau, there are two specialized units - Crimes Against Revenue and Elder Fraud.
For more information, email Frauds@queensda.org or call 718.286.6673.
Crimes Against Revenue Unit
CARU investigates, prosecutes, and deters crimes adversely affecting government revenues and expenditures, and recoups state tax revenue lost through scams. The unit works to hold accountable those who deliberately fail to pay their fair share of taxes and to crack down on traffickers who bring untaxed tobacco into our jurisdiction. All taxes, such as excise, sales, and income, are subject to CARU investigations that focus on individuals, corporations, or industries and include complex financial fraud and tax evasion schemes by major criminal enterprises.
Elder Fraud Unit
The Elder Fraud Unit investigates and prosecutes financial crimes and schemes that involve the theft of an elderly person’s identity, property, and life savings. The unit has been instrumental in returning deeds to exploited homeowners, as well as, securing restitution for victims. The unit also focuses on prevention through community outreach events geared toward educating our communities and especially our seniors about the most recent trends and scams with the hope of preventing them from being scammed.
For more information, email ElderFraud@queensda.org or call 718.286.6578.
Further information and resources for the elderly can be found by visiting the NYC Adult Protective Services site or calling 212.630.1853. Information for the NYC Department for the Aging Elderly Crime Victims' Program can be found by visiting their site or calling 212.442.3103.
Housing and Worker Protection Bureau
The Housing and Worker Protection Bureau (HWPB) was established by Queens DA Melinda Katz during her first year in office. HWPB investigates and prosecutes crimes related to deed fraud, mortgage fraud, construction fraud, wage theft, and workplace safety.
The bureau is uniquely positioned to investigate and prosecute criminals who prey on people who live and work in Queens with fraudulent real estate schemes, unsafe workplace conditions, and other forms of illegal exploitation. Some people are more vulnerable than others, but anyone can be victimized by unscrupulous fraudsters. The bureau investigates, and where appropriate, prosecutes crimes involving theft, fraud, and exploitation of workers.
The Housing and Worker Protection Bureau investigates:
- Illegal, unsafe working conditions that can lead to injury, bodily harm, or death
- Dishonest employers illegally shortchanging workers or demanding kickbacks
- Contractor fraud, rental schemes, and other crimes
- Deed/mortgage fraud - forged documents, misleading transfers, identity theft, falsified or altered records; dishonestly obtained signatures
- Price gouging – illegally charging excessive prices to vulnerable customers on staples like food, emergency cleanup and supplies, medical supplies, gasoline/fuel, and other necessities.
For more information, email HousingWorkerProtection@queensda.org or call 718.286.6673.
Human Trafficking Bureau
The Human Trafficking Bureau was established by Queens DA Melinda Katz during the first six months of her administration. This bureau aggressively investigates and prosecutes all sex and labor trafficking crimes while also connecting survivors with meaningful services, support, and tools to enable them to safely escape their situations.
The District Attorney’s Office is a safe haven for all victims of human trafficking regardless of their social, economic, or immigration status.
The Human Trafficking Bureau can help with:
- Psychological or physical coercion, violence, threats, forced drug use, or fear to compel adults and children to engage in prostitution acts
- Exploitation with threats of injury, or deportation
- Use of forced labor, domestic work, or servitude for little or no wages
- Any and all related crimes where trafficking may be a motive or otherwise related to trafficking, including but not limited to: kidnapping, rape, assault, criminal contempt, as well as all felony compelling, promoting, and felony patronizing a person for prostitution crimes
If you or anyone you know may be a victim of trafficking or commercial exploitation, or if you need information, or would like to be connected to social, legal, or immigration services, we want to help.
For more information, email HumanTrafficking@queensda.org or call 718.286.6548.
Major Economic Crimes Bureau
The Major Economic Crimes Bureau was formed as part of a restructured Investigations Division when Queens DA Melinda Katz took office in 2020. This bureau combines the former Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau with components of the former Economics Crimes Bureau.
The bureau investigates and prosecutes a broad array of large-scale financial crimes that often fuel dangerous criminal enterprises within Queens County. The bureau traces and recovers criminal proceeds so that they can be returned to crime victims, and stop the perpetrators from profiting from their crimes. The bureau works in collaboration with various local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to fight crime.
The Major Economic Crimes Bureau handles:
- Organized groups engaging in mail theft, check cashing and credit card fraud
- Fishing and identity theft schemes
- Cyber Crimes
- Auto theft and insurance fraud
- Airport Investigations
- Illegal gambling
- Extortion and loan sharking operations
- Money Laundering
- Asset Forfeiture
For more information, email MajorEcoCrimes@queensda.org or call 718.286.6673.
Airport Investigations Unit
The Airport Investigations Unit handles the investigation and prosecution of major crimes at both JFK International and LaGuardia Airports.
Queen County’s airports are critical to our national and regional economies and essential to our way of life. In 2019, 62 million passengers, over 1.4 million tons of freight, and 90 thousand tons of mail passed through JFK Airport. The very things about airports that attract travelers, workers, and businesses—their vast size, the scope of their facilities, the volume of passenger and cargo traffic—also attract thieves, smugglers, internal conspiracies, traffickers, and terrorists. Crime at our airports is of paramount concern.
Auto Crime Unit
Auto theft and scams have a large impact on the quality of life for those who live, work, and visit Queens. Whether it is the theft of cars and car parts from the streets of Queens, the use of stolen identities to obtain cars from Queens dealerships, or car scams which deprive Queens’ residents of their hard-earned money, these crimes are a burden on our community.
Through a variety of innovative legal and investigative techniques and the use of cutting-edge technology, the Auto Crime Unit combats these crimes at every level, from the thieves and scammers up to and including those running sophisticated criminal organizations.
For more information, call 718.286.6673.
Cyber Crime Unit
The Cyber Crime Unit investigates and prosecutes cases that involve technology-facilitated crimes against adults and children. These crimes include unique cases involving cryptocurrency, NFTs and transactions that are added to blockchains. The Cyber Crime Unit also handles complaints regarding account hacking, identity theft, inappropriate digital content, and online predatory behavior towards minors. Experienced prosecutors use all the digital and traditional tools at their disposal in order to delve into the virtual world we live in today and ensure justice for all victims of crime.
For more information, email CyberCrimes@queensda.org or call 718.286.6673.
Public Corruption Bureau
The Public Corruption Bureau investigates and prosecutes crimes committed by public servants and other public officials. It also investigates allegations against civilians who attempt to subvert the integrity of public servants by offering bribes.
The bureau investigates complaints from the public and works hand-in-hand with the New York City Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, the State Grievance Committees, Appellate Division, the City Department of Investigation, and a host of other agencies on a state and federal level to safeguard the public from corruption allegations.
The Public Corruption Bureau can help with allegations of:
- Wrongdoing by licensed attorneys
- Unauthorized practice of law
- Criminal impersonation of public officers
- Use of excessive force by police officers
- Election fraud
For more information, email PublicCorruption@queensda.org or call 718.286.6560.
Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau
The Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau (VCE) was created by DA Melinda Katz when she merged the Office’s former Narcotics Investigations and Gang Violence Bureaus. The Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau suppresses violent crime in Queens County by identifying and prosecuting drivers of violence engaged in organized criminal behavior, including members of violent street gangs, narcotics distribution operations, and firearms dealers.
The bureau has a dedicated staff of Assistant District Attorneys, investigators, and analysts with a combination of experience in trial practice, investigative work, and surveillance techniques. They aggressively pursue evidence through traditional coordinated information gathering from law enforcement agents, witnesses, other contacts, and members of the community. The bureau also collects, analyzes, and retains digital data through court-authorized electronic monitoring of sources that help the bureau zero in on criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
The Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau uses every resource available to ensure criminal networks, gang activity, and other organized operations run by drivers of crime are dismantled and that the drugs and weapons they peddle are taken off the streets.
For more information, email VCEB@queensda.org or call 718.286.7045.