(Redacted for public release)


This document is the Charter for the Economic Crime Policy Team (the "Team"). The purposes of this Charter are (1) to clearly communicate the goals and work product of the Team; and (2) to require the establishment of deadlines for completion of the Team's work.


During the past two years, the Commission has undertaken a major policy initiative to examine the sufficiency of guidelines covering certain economic crimes, particularly fraud, theft, and tax offenses. The primary focus of this examination has been: (1) to develop a loss table that incorporates the more-than-minimal-planning enhancement and increases sentence severity at certain points in the table; (2) to develop a loss definition that, among other things, is simpler and easier to use; (3) to consolidate the theft, property destruction, and fraud guidelines in order to provide uniformity of applicable commentary; and (4) to make necessary conforming changes to all other guidelines that refer to the fraud and theft loss tables.

Highlights of the Commission's work in this area include (1) soliciting, in January 1998, public comment on various amendment proposals and issues for comment; (2) conducting, in March 1998, two public hearings, one of which (in San Francisco, California) was dedicated exclusively to economic crimes; (3) Commissioner consideration, in April 1998, of an "economic crime package" of amendments to the guidelines; and (4) conducting field testing, in the summer of 1998, of the proposed loss definition with the Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference, probation officers, and other guideline users.

On a related front, two pieces of federal legislation recently were enacted that present issues not unlike those the Commission is considering as part of its economic crime package. Specifically, the Wireless Telephone Protection Act directs the Commission to review and, if appropriate, amend the guidelines to provide an appropriate penalty for offenses involving the fraudulent cloning of wireless telephones. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 directs the Commission to review and amend the guidelines, as appropriate, to provide an appropriate penalty for each offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1028, relating to fraud in connection with identification documents. More recently, the Commission has received recommendations from the United States Treasury Department urging revisions in the currency counterfeiting guideline (§2B5.1), one of the guidelines that uses the monetary table in the fraud guideline as a specific offense characteristic/aggravating factor.

In light of the Commission's already substantial work in the area of economic crimes and the recent related congressional directives, it is envisioned that the work of the Team will be quite focused and well-defined. The major thrust of the Team's work, as set forth in section III of this Charter, will be to (1) further refine the loss definition based on the field testing results; (2)  to develop options for implementing the directives contained in the Wireless Telephone Protection Act and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, including options that complement the work already done in the economic crime package; and (3) to consider the recommendations of the Treasury Department for changes in the referring guideline covering currency counterfeiting.


(A) The goals of the Team are the following:

(i) With respect to the economic crime package:

• To review input arising out of field testing conducted with respect to the proposed loss definition, and, if appropriate, to develop option(s) for a revised loss definition that takes that input into account.

• After developing option(s) for a revised loss definition, to make further outreach to the Criminal Law Committee, the Department of Justice, and other interested outside groups to seek input and suggestions on the option(s).

• As part of a review of the "referring guidelines" component of the economic crime package, to review the proposed amendments to §2B5.1, relating to counterfeit United States currency, submitted by the Department of the Treasury in a letter to the Commission dated November 17, 1998.

• To review and summarize public comment received.

(ii) With respect to the Wireless Telephone Protection Act and the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998:

• To review the legislative history of the Act to determine congressional concerns and intent.

• To conduct a legal analysis of the pertinent statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1028 or 1029, as appropriate, for elements of the offense, penalty structure, and the significance of any amendments to the statute made by the Act.

• To make outreach to outside groups having expertise in the area, for information, (e.g., on the scope of the loss typically involved in such an offense).

• If appropriate, to conduct legal and data analyses of cases sentenced under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028 and 1029, and cases sentenced under §2B5.1.

• To develop amendment options to implement directives contained in the Act, ensuring that those options take into consideration the interaction between loss and harm and including options that are consistent with the economic crime package.

• To review and summarize any public comment received, including comments on cloned telephones submitted by the Department of the Treasury in a letter to the Commission dated November 17, 1998.

(B) The following parameters apply to the work of the Team:

(i) Without prior approval of the Staff Director and the Office Directors, the Team shall not undertake any substantive policy work (including case coding) with respect to the economic crime package, other than that described in subparagraph (A)(i) of this section.

(ii) Only as further directed by the Staff Director and the Office Directors, the Team shall make recommendations on the content of materials that should be presented to incoming Commissioners, and the manner in which the materials should be presented, in order to fully and most effectively inform the incoming Commissioners on the substance of the economic crime package.




(A) Not later than [redacted]: Team receives Charter. Charter placed on Commission's internal website and distributed to other staff.

(B) The Team shall quickly establish a schedule for completion of all work necessary to meet the goals set forth in Part III of the Charter. The Team, through Sharon Henegan and the Chair, shall periodically report to the Staff Director and Office Directors on the progress of the Team in meeting those goals under the schedule.

The schedule shall provide for completion as soon as possible of work relating to the economic crime package. That is, because much work on the economic crime package has already been completed, it is envisioned that the Team will finalize work in that area more quickly than it completes the other work assigned to it under this Charter.

(C) Not later than [redacted]: Materials (including amendment options) presented to Commissioners for vote (either for submission to Congress, as may be the case with the economic crime package, or for approval for publication in the Federal Register, as may be the case with respect to the congressional directives).