Financial Fraud and Identity Theft Crimes Investigation and Prosecution (FFIT) Program

Background

In 2008, the Legislature created the FFIT Program in the Department of Commerce (Commerce). The program is codified at RCW 43.330.300.

The FFIT program supports and funds two regional task forces: the Greater Puget Sound Task Force covering King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, and the Spokane County Task Force. Each task force is comprised of members appointed by Commerce, including representatives of law enforcement agencies, county prosecutors, and financial institutions. Representatives of the Office of the Attorney General are also included in the task forces.  

Funding

Fees on Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings fund the FFIT program. The Department of Licensing collects the fees in the form of surcharges on personal and corporate Uniform Commercial Code-1 (UCC) filings. Collected funds are transferred monthly to Commerce for the exclusive support of the activities of the FFIT program.

Both of the state’s FFIT task forces direct grant funds to law enforcement investigations, forensic analysis and prosecutorial staff dedicated to financial fraud and identity theft cases.

Criminal Statutes

Financial fraud and identity theft crimes falling within the scope of the FFIT task forces are defined in RCW 43.330.300(4) as “check fraud, chronic unlawful issuance of bank checks, embezzlement, credit/debit card fraud, identity theft, forgery, counterfeit instruments such as checks or documents, organized counterfeit check rings, and organized identification theft rings.” While other crimes are included in this definition, the crime of “improperly obtaining financial information” is defined in RCW 9.35.010, and the crime of “identity theft” is defined in RCW 9.35.020.

Financial fraud and identity theft crimes are defined in RCW 43.330.300 as check fraud, chronic unlawful issuance of bank checks, embezzlement, credit/debit card fraud, identity theft, forgery, counterfeit instruments, such as checks or documents, organized counterfeit check rings, and organized identify theft rings.

Producing Results

The FFIT task forces report performance quarterly to Commerce. Focused on increasingly more complex cases, in the years of active investigatory work (2011 through 2021), the task forces have:

  • Conducted 12,057 investigations
  • Charged 5,931 cases
  • Charged 17,997 counts
  • Achieved 5,491 convictions