Criminals Exploiting COVID-19 Outbreak for Financial Gain through Procurement and Consumer Fraud (Houston Police Department)

Emma Best filed this request with the Houston Police Department of Houston, TX.
Tracking #

kc 20-04141

Multi Request Criminals Exploiting COVID-19 Outbreak for Financial Gain through Procurement and Consumer Fraud
Est. Completion None
Fix Required


From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Documents, memos, emails, reports and other records describing exploitation by criminals of the COVID-19 the outbreak as well as records mentioning or generated as part of or as a result of Liaison Information Report (LIR) 200323006, titled "Criminals Exploiting COVID-19 Outbreak for Financial Gain through Procurement and Consumer Fraud."

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Emma Best

  • LIR2020032300620-20Criminals20Exploiting20COVID-1920Outbreak20for20Financial20Gain20th.pdf

From: Houston Police Department

Please be aware that we do not have the technical ability to globally search all HPD employee email accounts. You will need to specify the following:
- Please provide us with a list of HPD employees whose emails you wish us to search
- Date range to search

Please be aware some of the emails may discuss information that is confidential as a matter of law, open/active criminal investigations, investigations which did not result in conviction/deferred adjudication, attorney-client communications, and/or law enforcement tactics, to include documents from other law enforcement agencies.

Do you agree to allow us to withhold these types of messages? (See 552.101, 552.103, 552.107, and 552.108 of the Texas Government Code, to include documents from other law enforcement agencies)?

Please note that if you do not agree to allow us to withhold these messages, and any of the messages contain this type of information, we will need to seek a ruling from the Texas Attorney General in order to withhold such messages. This process will add up approximately 60 business days to the processing time of your request. If you agree to allow us to withhold these types of messages, we will not need to seek the ruling from the AG to withhold them.

Please note that Section 552.222(d) of the Texas Government Code authorizes the City to consider your public information request withdrawn as a matter of law if you do not respond in writing to this request for clarification within 61 days from the date of this correspondence.

Thank you,
Open Records Unit - kc