Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $375,000)
Theft of intellectual property is a burgeoning crime in the Austin area. Counterfeiting technology and techniques are increasingly available to criminal elements, many with ties to organized crime. Austin Police Department data reflects significant increases in forgery and passing crimes and fraud targeting children and the elderly. Counterfeiting, financial crimes such as tax evasion and money laundering, and identify theft amount to over 6,000 cases each year.
The primary goals of the City of Austin Intellectual Property Enforcement Program (IPEP) are to coordinate and improve justice system investigation, prosecution, prevention, outreach and education as each relate to intellectual property enforcement. With this application, the City of Austin requests $375,000 to aggressively investigate and prosecute IP crimes with specific focus on public health and safety, theft of trade secrets and economic espionage, and large-scale commercial counterfeit and piracy. All funds are allocated for investigative overtime and crime analysis. The City anticipates that 100 cases will result from grant-funded activities in the field and internet-based enforcement will generate about 50 cases. The City also expects to see increased awareness of IP crimes as a result of the education and outreach campaign.