The Criminal Justice Section assists local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies throughout the State on matters that occur in more than one local jurisdiction, including presenting cases to the Statewide Grand Jury and serving as special district attorneys in local counties upon request. Section members provide special assistance to district attorneys in complex violent crimes including homicides and cold cases. The section also prosecutes multi-jurisdictional cases that include human trafficking, major drug trafficking organizations, white-collar and environmental crimes. The Criminal Justice Section prosecutes crimes in which it has original jurisdiction, including securities, insurance, and election fraud.
Prosecution of crimes in the Criminal Justice Section may be initiated through direct filings in which the prosecutor files charges directly with the court, or through the use of the Statewide Grand Jury, which hears testimony, views evidence and decides whether to issue criminal charges through an indictment. The Criminal Justice Section also coordinates the prosecution of foreign fugitives and oversees the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.
Financial Fraud Unit
This unit has two primary missions: 1) to investigate and vigorously prosecute criminal offenses relating to insurance fraud, and 2) to stop swindlers from victimizing Colorado citizens through securities fraud. Colorado residents pay many millions of dollars annually in insurance premiums. These premiums are artificially high because the costs of those who engage in insurance fraud are ultimately borne by the policy holders. Securities Fraud is an equally important practice area for the Unit. Securities fraud takes many forms, including pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, oil and gas investment schemes, and “fix-and-flip” housing scams and often targets vulnerable populations like seniors or veterans.
Special Prosecutions (“SP”) Unit
The SP Unit is a specialized unit within the Criminal Justice Section. The Attorney General has statutory authority to prosecute specifically enumerated crimes, including certain environmental violations, auto theft, state tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and other fraud-related offenses. Additionally, the Attorney General functions as the legal advisor to the Statewide Grand Jury. In this capacity and through this responsibility, the SP Unit is further authorized to undertake the investigation and prosecution of complex criminal cases which have occurred in multiple judicial districts throughout the State, as well as assist the elected district attorneys and local law enforcement in matters involving all aspects of violent crimes investigation and prosecution. These complex cases often involve enterprises committing narcotics trafficking, identity theft, auto theft and human trafficking. The entire SP Unit is responsible for many of the State’s multiple jurisdiction matters, as well as special investigations which may be referred by other law enforcement entities, state agencies or the Governor. Unit attorneys prosecute cases throughout Colorado either under the authority of the Attorney General or as specially-appointed Deputy District Attorneys in one of the twenty-two judicial districts.
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”)
The MFCU is a state and federally-funded unit that investigates fraud committed against the State by providers of Medicaid products and services, as well as abuse and neglect of patients in federally-funded long-term care facilities. Investigations can result in criminal prosecution, handled by MFCU attorneys acting as special deputy district attorneys, and/or civil demands and lawsuits for return of losses, damages and penalties.
The Colorado Medicaid system pays billions of dollars annually to provide health care to the State’s neediest citizens. Medicaid provider fraud costs taxpayers millions of dollars and takes money away from children and adults who genuinely require it for their health.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) operates a statewide program designed to detect provider Medicaid fraud. The MFCU prosecutes criminal offenses relating to Medicaid fraud throughout Colorado. The unit also brings civil cases through the Colorado Medicaid False Claims Act, C.R.S. 25.5-4-303.5 et seq., which provides treble (triple) damages and substantial penalties for those who knowingly submit false Medicaid claims to the State of Colorado.
The MFCU investigators, are highly trained, sworn peace officers who specialize in this area. The MFCU coordinates with numerous federal, state, and local agencies to review claims data, find facts, and substantiate fraud cases. Since Medicaid is a joint federal/state health program, the MFCU receives funding from the federal government.
The MFCU investigates fraud committed by providers. These are individuals and organizations providing the service, such as doctors, nurses, and those involved in daily care. This can include billing for services not rendered, billing for unnecessary services, and exaggerating (upcoding) the services or products provided. The MFCU does not investigate recipient fraud; this is fraud committed by those receiving the services. This includes, among many things, false statements to obtain Medicaid coverage or services, and loaning or borrowing eligibility cards. Recipient fraud should be reported to the district attorney’s office for the county involved, or to the appropriate county department of human services.
To report Medicaid provider fraud, contact the MFCU at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 508-6696.
The Section also has several personnel dedicated to specific missions critical to the State and the Department. These include our Victim Assistance program, Foreign Prosecutions Unit (FPU), Marijuana Training Team, and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (POST). With the assistance of the FPU, Mexican authorities have apprehended several suspects charged with murder and who are currently in custody awaiting the Mexican federal court’s ruling and sentencing orders. The marijuana team has trained over three thousand peace officers across the State on the ever-evolving issues of marijuana law in light of the State’s legalization of the substance.
Deputy Attorney General Scott W. Turner
Colorado Office of the Attorney General
Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center
1300 Broadway, 9th Floor
Denver, CO 80203