299A.68 Financial crimes investigation task force.
Subdivision 1. Investigation task force established. A group of two or more local governmental units may enter into an agreement to establish a major financial crimes investigation task force.
Subd. 2. Investigation task force's duties. The investigation task force shall investigate consumer identity theft cases and reported financial crimes from individuals and businesses who are victims of such crimes. 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, and other related financial crimes. In particular, the investigation task force shall investigate individuals, based on their criminal activity, who:
(1) commit multiple, cross-jurisdictional, financial crimes;
(2) employ computers and other sophisticated technology to counterfeit documents or commit fraud; or
(3) illegally obtain consumer information for identity theft.
Subd. 3. Role of participating local governmental units. The local governmental units that agree to form and participate in a single, centralized, financial crimes investigation task force shall oversee the investigation task force's operation by establishing procedures and guidelines in their agreement. The agreement must be addressed in a memorandum of understanding and signed by the person in charge of each participating local unit of government. The memorandum of understanding shall 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 support;
(4) selection and assignment of members;
(5) transfer of investigation task force members;
(6) resolution of disputes between participating local governmental units;
(7) requirements and procedures for all workers' compensation and other liability to remain the responsibility of each member's employing agency; and
(8) all other issues deemed pertinent by the participating local governmental units.
Subd. 4. Commander. The participating local governmental units 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. The commander shall also report annually to the bureau of criminal apprehension 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 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. 7. Collaboration with other prosecutorial and law enforcement offices. To the greatest degree possible, the investigation task force shall cooperate and collaborate with existing prosecutorial offices and law enforcement agencies.
Subd. 8. Prosecutor. A participating local governmental unit may seek a grant for reimbursement for the time and resources that a prosecutor and the prosecutor's staff dedicate to the investigation task force. In order to receive a grant under this subdivision, a participating local governmental unit must provide a 25 percent match in nonstate funds or in-kind contributions either directly from its budget or from businesses directly donating support. A participating prosecutor shall remain an employee of the contributing county.
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, 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. This section expires on June 30, 2003.
HIST: 1Sp2001 c 8 art 5 s 5