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May 21, 2006

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Fraud forum will feature former Mafia kingpin
By E-R Staff

OROVILLE -- A three-day forum on fraud and identity theft, featuring a talk from a former Mafia boss, is expected to attract law enforcement agencies from throughout California to Gold Country Casino, starting today.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, whose office is presenting the forum, said fraud and identity theft are the country's two fastest-growing categories of crime.

Topics to be covered include investigation of check and credit card fraud, computer and Internet fraud, counterfeiting, postal fraud and frauds involving contractors, workers compensation and automobile insurance.

On Thursday police officials will hear from Michael Franzese, a recognized expert on business and corporate fraud and a convicted Mafia boss once dubbed the "Long Island Don."

He reportedly beat charges brought by former New York state prosecutor Rudy Giuliani, but later decided to plead guilty to a racketeering indictment, accepted a 10-year prison sentence, then quit the mob.

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Ramsey and investigator Jos Van Hout will present information to the public on fraud and identity theft at Gold Country Casino.

There is no reservation needed to attend the free public seminar. More information about identity theft and fraud can be obtained at


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