The U.S. Department of Justice will award $118,167 to the Solicitation From Crime and Justice Research Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), which investigates identity-theft offenders.

The recipients of this new grant are UAB Assistant Professor Heith Copes, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Lynne Vieraitis, Ph.D., in the UAB Department of Justice Sciences.

Identity theft is the most prevalent form of fraud in the United States, costing consumers an estimated $5 billion and businesses about $48 billion each year. By interviewing and researching offenders, this program hopes to learn ways to prevent identity theft from occurring in the future.

“These funds will be used to learn more about convicted identity thieves, their life experiences and their perspectives on the rewards and risks associated with their crimes,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Identity theft is one of the fastest growing and most expensive financial crimes in America. I believe this is a worthwhile program and I am pleased the Department of Justice has funded [the program].”
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