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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                             CHAPTER 36-S.F.No. 515 
                  An act relating to criminal justice; modifying 
                  structure of financial crimes task force and modifying 
                  related policies; repealing sunset provision; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 299A.68. 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 299A.68, is 
        amended to read: 
        group of two or more local governmental units may enter into an 
        agreement to establish a major The Minnesota financial crimes 
        investigation task force is established to investigate major 
        financial crimes.  Local law enforcement agencies, federal law 
        enforcement agencies, and state and federal prosecutor's offices 
        may join the Minnesota financial crimes task force, subject to 
        the provisions of this section. 
           Subd. 2.  [INVESTIGATION TASK FORCE'S DUTIES.] (a) The 
        investigation task force shall investigate consumer identity 
        theft cases and reported financial crimes from individuals and 
        businesses who that are victims of such crimes.  
           (b) The investigation task force shall focus on financial 
        crimes including, but not limited to, statewide crimes such as:  
        theft, fraud, and forgery crimes, including identity theft, 
        check forgery, fraud in obtaining credit, financial transaction 
        card fraud, theft from merchants, possession or sale of stolen 
        or counterfeit checks, issuance of dishonored checks, creation 
        or use of counterfeit state identification, obtaining 
        counterfeit state identification, fraudulent Internet 
        transactions, fraudulent merchandise returns, investment fraud, 
        insurance fraud, vehicle insurance fraud, financial institution 
        fraud, fraud related to state or federal programs, tax fraud, 
        mail and wire fraud, and other related financial crimes.  
           (c) In particular, the investigation task force shall 
        investigate individuals and organizations, based on their 
        criminal activity, who that: 
           (1) commit multiple, cross-jurisdictional, financial 
           (2) employ computers and other sophisticated technology to 
        counterfeit documents or commit fraud; or 
           (3) illegally obtain consumer information for identity 
        UNITS AGENCIES.] (a) The local governmental units agencies 
        that agree to form and participate in a single, centralized, the 
        statewide financial crimes investigation task force shall 
        oversee the investigation task force's operation by establishing 
        procedures and guidelines in their an agreement.  The agreement 
        must be addressed in a memorandum of understanding and signed by 
        the person in charge of each participating local unit agency of 
        government.  The memorandum of understanding shall must address 
        the following: 
           (1) the command structure of the investigation task force; 
           (2) acquisition and liquidation of equipment, office space, 
        and transportation; 
           (3) procedures for contracting for necessary administrative 
           (4) selection and assignment of members; 
           (5) transfer of investigation task force members; 
           (6) resolution of disputes between participating local 
        governmental units agencies; 
           (7) requirements and procedures for all workers' 
        compensation and other liability to remain the responsibility of 
        each member's employing agency; and 
           (8) disposition of assets and debts if the task force is 
        disbanded; and 
           (9) all other issues deemed pertinent by the participating 
        local governmental units agencies. 
           (b) Federal law enforcement agencies participating in the 
        task force must be signatories to the memorandum of 
        understanding.  Federal law enforcement agencies and officers 
        participating in the task force may not participate in the 
        selection of the statewide commander or receive any funding for 
        agents' salaries, benefits, or overtime. 
           Subd. 4.  [STATEWIDE COMMANDER.] The participating local 
        governmental units agencies shall select a commander to direct 
        the investigation task force.  The commander shall make tactical 
        decisions regarding the commencement, continuation, and 
        conclusion of investigations of crimes within the investigation 
        task force's jurisdiction in consultation with agencies 
        participating in the task force.  The commander shall also 
        report annually to the bureau of criminal apprehension 
        commissioner of public safety as required in subdivision 10. 
           Subd. 5.  [MEMBERS; EMPLOYMENT STATUS.] The investigation 
        task force may include law enforcement officers, prosecutors, 
        federal law enforcement officers, and investigators from local 
        governmental units who are selected by their supervisors to 
        participate in the investigation task force.  All law 
        enforcement officers selected to join the investigation task 
        force must be licensed peace officers under section 626.84, 
        subdivision 1, or qualified federal law enforcement officers as 
        defined in section 626.8453.  Members shall remain employees of 
        the same entity that employed them before joining the 
        investigation task force.  Compensation, personnel evaluations, 
        grievances, merit increases, and liability insurance coverage, 
        such as general, personal, vehicle, and professional liability 
        insurance, shall must be covered by each member's employing 
        agency.  Members of the financial crimes task force are not 
        employees of the state. 
           Subd. 6.  [JURISDICTION AND POWERS.] Law enforcement 
        officers who are members of the investigation task force shall 
        have statewide jurisdiction to conduct criminal investigations 
        into financial crimes as described in subdivision 2 and possess 
        the same powers of arrest as those possessed by a sheriff. 
           Officers assigned to the financial crimes task force shall 
        follow their county arrest procedures, booking processes, 
        reporting processes, county attorney charging requirements, and 
        appropriate notification protocols to local and county sheriff 
        agencies where arrests are made and search warrants executed.  
        The commander of the task force is responsible for ensuring 
        compliance with applicable local practices and procedures. 
           Subd. 6a.  [REGIONAL OFFICES.] The commander, as funding 
        permits, may establish seven regional offices of the task force 
        to investigate financial crimes throughout the state and the 
        regional areas.  The regional offices must originally be 
        established based on current state judicial districts, with one 
        regional office covering the first, second, fourth, and tenth 
        judicial districts.  The commander must establish a separate 
        regional office in each of the third, fifth, sixth, seventh, 
        eighth, and ninth judicial districts.  The regional offices must 
        be composed of participating agencies from each of the 
        designated geographic areas.  In consultation with the 
        commander, the participating agencies of each regional office 
        must select a supervisor to direct the office.  The regional 
        office supervisors must report to the commander.  If necessary, 
        the advisory committee established in subdivision 8 may modify 
        the geographic boundary of a regional office. 
        ENFORCEMENT OFFICES.] To the greatest degree possible, the 
        investigation task force shall cooperate and collaborate with 
        existing prosecutorial offices and law enforcement agencies. 
        ALLOCATION AND USE.] (a) The statewide commander shall establish 
        an operational budget and present it to an advisory committee 
        for approval.  Grants awarded to participating local agencies 
        must be approved by the advisory committee.  The advisory 
        committee must be composed of the statewide commander, a county 
        attorney from the metro area, a county attorney from greater 
        Minnesota, and the three chiefs of police or sheriffs from the 
        local law enforcement agencies that have the longest continuous 
        participation in the task force.  The committee shall appoint a 
        chair from among its members.  The statewide commander must not 
        be the chair of the committee.  The committee may adopt 
        procedures to govern its conduct if necessary.  A committee 
        member may appoint a designee to take the member's place.  The 
        advisory committee shall oversee and select a fiscal agent 
        qualified to handle financial accounting of task force funding.  
        The task force shall be assigned an originating reporting number 
        for case tracking and reporting purposes. 
           (b) A participating local governmental unit agency may seek 
        a grant for reimbursement for the time and resources that 
        a peace officer, investigator, detective, prosecutor, and the 
        prosecutor's administrative staff dedicate to the investigation 
        task force, or for any other task force-related purposes as 
        described in paragraph (d).  In order to receive a grant under 
        this subdivision, a participating local governmental unit agency 
        must provide a 25 20 percent match in nonstate funds or in-kind 
        contributions either directly from its budget or from businesses 
        directly donating support.  A participating prosecutor employee 
        shall remain an employee of the contributing county agency. 
           (c) For purposes of this subdivision, an "in-kind 
        contribution" means any asset contribution or personnel costs 
        not funded by this section, including office supplies, 
        furniture, office space, computers, software, equipment, 
        surveillance tools, and personnel benefits.  It also includes 
        contributions from federal agencies, businesses, nonprofit 
        organizations, individuals, or legal entities used for general 
        operations support and not directed toward the case of a 
        particular victim or business. 
           (d) Task force funds may be used for any task force-related 
        purpose including salaries, overtime, administration, office 
        costs, law enforcement equipment, computers, software, vehicle 
        expenses, travel, and training. 
           (e) The commissioner shall transfer all funds to the task 
        force from financial contributions and grants designated to the 
        task force for the purposes described in this section. 
           Subd. 9.  [FORFEITURE.] Property seized by the 
        investigation task force is subject to forfeiture pursuant to 
        sections 609.531, 609.5312, 609.5313, and 609.5315 if ownership 
        cannot be established.  The investigation task force shall 
        receive the proceeds from the sale of all property that it 
        properly seizes and that is forfeited. 
           Subd. 10.  [REQUIRED REPORTS.] (a) Beginning June 30, 2002 
        July 1, 2003, the commander of the investigation task force 
        shall report annually to the commissioner on the activities of 
        the investigation task force and the use of grants awarded under 
        Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 8, article 4, section 
        10, subdivision 7. 
           (b) By March 1, 2003, the commissioner of public safety 
        shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the 
        house of representatives and senate committees and divisions 
        having jurisdiction over criminal justice policy and funding on 
        the activities of the investigation task force and the use of 
        grants awarded under Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 8, 
        article 4, section 10, subdivision 7. 
           Subd. 11.  [EXPIRATION TASK FORCE IS PERMANENT.] This 
        section expires on June 30, 2003 Notwithstanding section 15.059, 
        this section does not expire. 
           Subd. 12.  [MATCHING FEDERAL DOLLARS.] The task force may 
        accept grants or contributions from any federal source or legal 
        business or entity.  
           [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective July 1, 2003. 
           Presented to the governor May 8, 2003 
           Signed by the governor May 12, 2003, 12:18 p.m.