(Crimes Against State Economy)
Established: 2020 Utah Legislature
Sponsors: Representative Eric K. Hutchings, State Senator Daniel W. Thatcher and Substitute Sponsor State Senator Don L. Ipson
With the passage of HB 461 in 2020, the Utah Legislature tasked the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety to create and coordinate the operation of a multi-agency joint task force to combat criminal activity that may have a negative impact on the state’s economy. A team of investigators, highly qualified prosecutors and support staff carry out this mandate in the form of the Crimes Against State Economy Task Force (CASE).
The CASE Task Force partners with many Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. and the Postal Inspection Service. Through these partnerships and its own independent investigations, the CASE Task Force capably investigates and prosecutes cases including but not limited to: Organized Retail Crime, Cargo Theft, Porch Piracy, Gambling and Catalytic Converter Scrap Metal thefts each year.
The CASE Task Force regularly partners with corporate retail investigators from dozens of entities to monitor nationwide trends and track suspects that may travel to and victimize retailers in Utah. Task Force Agents from CASE regularly communicate with corporate investigators from Lowes, Target, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, ULTA Beauty, Kohl’s, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacies, Lens Crafters and many more. CASE Agents also regularly communicate and partner with e-commerce retailers from Offer-Up, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Amazon in an attempt to combat the sale of stolen goods online.
The CASE Team of Investigators, Prosecutors and support staff are active participants in the private industry groups such as the Utah Organized Retail Crime Association, The Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail. In this role, they work with non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to combat crimes that impact retailers doing business in the state of Utah. Investigators from the CASE Task Force have become recognized experts in their field, presenting on these topics across the country and at major national conferences. Agents from CASE have been invited to speak to retail stakeholders and elected officials from numerous other states regarding the importance of starting similar strike forces and have conducted training on how to investigate and prosecute these types of complex cases.
By nurturing and building these strong nationwide partnerships, CASE targets criminal enterprises associated with crimes committed against retailers and protecting other legitimate businesses throughout Utah. The CASE Task Force’s unique ability to investigate and prosecute large-scale crimes helps ensure the safety of Utah’s economy and protects the rights and property of all Utahns.