The Attorney General of Nevada has described human trafficking as a “form of modern-day slavery” that impacts the most vulnerable populations within Nevada. The AG went on to elaborate on the depravity of human trafficking and described it as “a brutal, complex, and widespread crime in which children are used in commercial sex and adults are targeted through force, fraud or coercion to engage in activity against their will.”
Unfortunately, there remain members of society, including individuals residing or visiting Nevada, who are more than happy to engage in this awful and exploitative practice in an effort to make money. The U.S. State Department estimates that approximately 17,500 people are trafficked into the country each and every year. Between 2001 and 2005, the Civil Rights Division of DOJ and United States Attorneys’ Offices filed 91 trafficking cases. This represented a 405 percent increase over the previous four years. In these cases, DOJ charged 248 trafficking defendants, which represented a 210 percent increase over the previous five years. Approximately 140 of those defendants were convicted of trafficking-related crimes.
If this data was not troubling enough, the individuals actively engaged in and perpetuating human trafficking are generating large sums of money due to the demand from pedophiles and other individuals. In fact, human trafficking is the third most profitable criminal enterprise after drugs and arms trafficking. For example, human trafficking generates roughly $9.5 billion in profits worldwide for those who participate in this pernicious criminal activity, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Nevada AG, in collaboration with the state legislature, took action to help the victims of human trafficking by establishing a “contingency account.” According to NRS 217.510, this contingency account is used to assist victims when they are finally freed from their captures.
According to NRS 217.520, someone is considered to be a victim of human trafficking when they have been forced to engage in any of the following activities against their will:
1. Involuntary servitude as set forth in NRS 200.463 or 200.464.
2. A violation of any provision of NRS 200.465.
3. Trafficking in persons in violation of any provision of NRS 200.467 or 200.468.
4. Pandering in violation of any provision of NRS 201.300.
5. A violation of NRS 201.320.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.TOP RATED ON:
The administration, use and limitations of the contingency fund are set forth in NRS 217.530. Here is the specific statutory language:
1. The Contingency Account for Victims of Human Trafficking is hereby created in the State General Fund.
2. The Director of the Department of Health and Human Services shall administer the Contingency Account. The money in the Contingency Account:
(a) Must be expended only for the purposes of:
When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side.
(1) Establishing or providing programs or services to victims of human trafficking; and
(2) Fundraising for the direct benefit of the Contingency Account. The total amount of money expended pursuant to this subparagraph in any fiscal year must not exceed $10,000 or 10 percent of the amount of money in the Contingency Account at the beginning of that fiscal year, whichever is less.
(b) Is hereby authorized for expenditure as a continuing appropriation for these purposes.
3. The Director may apply for and accept gifts, grants and donations or other sources of money for deposit in the Contingency Account.
4. The interest and income earned on the money in the Contingency Account, after deducting any applicable charges, must be credited to the Contingency Account.
5. Any money remaining in the Contingency Account at the end of a fiscal year does not revert to the State General Fund, and the balance in the Contingency Account must be carried forward to the next fiscal year.
There are a variety of non-profit organizations public interest groups devoted to helping victims of human trafficking. They can apply to receive a financial allocation from the contingency fund pursuant to the provisions of NRS 217.540. Here is the specific statutory language:
1. A nonprofit organization or any agency or political subdivision of this State may apply to the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services for an allocation of money from the Contingency Account.
2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Grants Management Advisory Committee created by NRS 232.383 shall review applications received by the Director pursuant to subsection 1 and make recommendations to the Director concerning allocations of money from the Contingency Account to applicants. If the Director, in his or her discretion, determines that an emergency exists and an allocation of money from the Contingency Account is needed immediately, the Director may make an allocation of money from the Contingency Account pursuant to this section without the review of the application or the making of recommendations by the Grants Management Advisory Committee.
3. The Director may make allocations of money from the Contingency Account to applicants and may place such conditions on the acceptance of such an allocation as the Director determines are necessary, including, without limitation, requiring the recipient of an allocation to submit periodic reports concerning the recipient’s use of the allocation.
4. The recipient of an allocation of money from the Contingency Account may use the money only for the purposes of establishing or providing programs or services to victims of human trafficking.