The Identity Theft Partnership in Prevention
program at Michigan State University is undergoing major
re-organization sans founding Director, Judith M. Collins,Ph.D.
Professor Collins announced in mid-January of this year that she had
accepted a position with the U.S.Department of State in Washington D.C.
and could no longer serve as Director. Sandra Hoffman, former Associate
Director of the program, was named Interim Director.
On February 20, 2006, School of Criminal Justice
Director Edmund McGarrell convened a meeting of key stakeholders from
around the state and charged them with describing what an ideal ID
Theft program at MSU should look like. From this group the School will
build an Identity Theft Program Advisory Board to assist in keeping the
MSU program cutting edge in research, education and training.
Three issues were identified by the February 20th
participants as critical to a nationally recognized cutting edge
program. The first was the importance of victim services. Education and
training of victims, investigators, prosecutors, courts, and the
community at large was also emphasized. Lastly, participants recognized
the need for research to inform policy.
Sandra Hoffman served as
Associate Director to the Identity Theft Partnerships in Prevention
program prior to being appointed Interim Director. She worked with Dr.
Collins on various research projects relating to identity theft, and
assisted in the development and delivery of the various related
workshops offered by that program.
Ms. Hoffman is a graduate of Siena Heights
University with additional course towards a Masters degree from the
University of Toledo. She has recently completed work on a project with
the Office for Educational Outreach at Bowling Green State
University-Firelands Campus to provide identity theft training on-line
to military personnel. Sandra also holds a part-time position with the
Adrian Township Police Department.
When asked what she saw the greatest challenge
facing the MSU Identity Theft Program in the absence of Professor
Collins, Sandra advises: “It’s obvious no one can fill Dr. Collins
shoes and the role she played in establishing and maintaining the
original Identity Theft Partnerships in Prevention program. She was the
program’s greatest cheerleader -spending unbelievable amounts of time
traveling around the country doing presentations. My greatest challenge
is going to be to keep up the momentum to keep the issue in the
Nexus of Identity Theft and Terrorism
Speculation on likely terrorist actions and
specific indicators point to more creative and adaptive strategies by
terrorists trying to enter the United States. Identity theft, beyond
its context for covert financing, is anticipated to become more
attractive to terrorists as a means of gaining entry into the United
A successful Homeland Security intelligence program
needs information on identity theft and related
activities. It is critical that local law enforcement
personnel understand why and how identity theft
activities relate to keeping our homeland safe and
what must be done to insure all possible related
information is forwarded to Fusion Centers for incorporation
with other bits of intelligence.