Jonathan J. Rusch, United States Department of Justice

Fraud and the Psychology of Influence

Thu, 04/19/2012
By invitation only
Graduate Students
Policy Students

The Program in Law and Public Affairs invites MPP/MPA students to the next dinner in this year's series, Law in the Public Service: Not Just for Lawyers, where our guests will be Jonathan J. Rusch, to discuss "Fraud and the Psychology of Influence."

This event is by invitation only. If interested, please e-mail Judi Rivkin at

In recent years, the public's attention has been captured by massive fraud schemes, such as those of Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford.  What is less well understood is the extent to which not only these widely publicized schemes, but other schemes that largely evade public attention -- ranging from international advance-fee fraud to online identity theft and fraud –draw on the same array of techniques for exerting psychological influence over their victims.  This talk, by a leading international expert on fraud and identity theft, will identify some of the principal influence techniques used in fraud, and explore the implications of that information for law enforcement decisionmaking.

Jonathan J. Rusch is Deputy Chief for Strategy and Policy in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  His duties include service as Co-Chair of the International Mass-Marketing Fraud Working Group, a member of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's Core Group of Experts on Identity-Related Crime, Chair of the national Identity Theft Enforcement Interagency Working Group, and Executive Director for Consumer and Benefit Fraud of the Department of Justice's Disaster Fraud Task Force.

Mr. Rusch received an A.B. degree with honors from Princeton University (as a Wilson School major), an M.A. (Government) degree from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia Law School, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review.  He has been the lead prosecutor in major fraud and public corruption prosecutions by the Department of Justice, including successful prosecutions of a former United States Treasurer, a House Sergeant at Arms, and former Members of Congress, as well as ringleaders of various mass-marketing fraud schemes. He also has served as Counsel to the President's Commission on Organized Crime and Director of the Office of Financial Enforcement at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.