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    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #1

    Jun 20, 2006, 05:00 PM
    Witness protection program
    This is kind of a silly question, but I was just thinking... if you needed to go into witness protection, but you were in debt and had creditors after you, would the government pay the debt and/or forgive the debt? Because otherwise, the creditors would be trying to track you down, and that would be dangerous as far as being discovered by whoever you were being protected from.
    DrJ's Avatar
    DrJ Posts: 1,328, Reputation: 339
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    #2

    Jun 20, 2006, 05:02 PM
    Hmmm... that IS an interesting question.

    That would be a good way to get out of debt, at least! Lol
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #3

    Jun 20, 2006, 06:01 PM
    No they don't, but there is no way to track you down if you follow the rules.

    The person in witness protection is often convicted of some crime also, and also do some time in federal prison under a different name ( I got a story on that one a little later in this post)

    So they still go to jail for some time under their new name.
    Those that don't go to jail are provided a new name, all new social secuirty numbers, a fake background and some money for a limited amount of time. They get a new job in a new place and are suppose to change all of their habits, If they like deep sea fishing they are not suppose to ever do it again, and so on. They can't contact their family brothers, sisters and so on, no friends, no grown children, and most just can't do it

    For my story, one of my jobs with the justice dept was job training for people in Federal custody. So one day a old time family friend was seen sitting in my office, I walked in yelled at him and called him by name.
    Well guess what, he was under witness protection and under another name. I blew his cover. So much for they checking out our connection well.
    DrJ's Avatar
    DrJ Posts: 1,328, Reputation: 339
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    #4

    Jun 20, 2006, 06:04 PM
    So then if they were in debt, they would have to just forget about it and let their real name get trashed, sued, and so on? They obviously couldn't keep paying under the old name... but what if they end up going back to their old name (or is that ever even allowed?? )
    garristotle's Avatar
    garristotle Posts: 1, Reputation: 2
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    #5

    Jul 25, 2006, 10:37 AM
    Fr chuck has already answered your question well: "there is no way to track you down if you follow the rules.". Using your old name and identity ever again basically is voluntarily ejecting yourself from the program. So no, the government doesn't pay off your debts and unless you're cover is blown or more likely you blow it yourself, no prior debts will technically follow you. Of course, the psychological and other implications of abandoning your debts along with having to give up your entire external life as you have known it is not worth it to most people and is a horrible debt reduction strategy. I would think it would be a very shallow, questionable person who would want to be in the witness protection program for anything less than prevention of probable murder, grave injury, or the like.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #6

    Jul 25, 2006, 12:42 PM
    Chava, I am wondering if you are thinking that this happened to the person you know who "disappeared?"
    Jay_Jay's Avatar
    Jay_Jay Posts: 74, Reputation: 15
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    #7

    Jul 26, 2006, 04:00 AM
    They obviously couldn't keep paying under the old name... but what if they end up going back to their old name (or is that ever even allowed?? )
    I get the feeling that they are not allowed to go back to the old name for safety. There debts would just be taken away as that person would no longer exist.

    I know a lot of times that people go into witness protection they have to say good bye to there friends and family for good. ( Or have I been watching too much tv lol ) :) Good post Orange it a very immaginative question !

    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #8

    Jul 26, 2006, 06:17 AM
    Yes also don't believe a lot of the TV,

    First most witness protection people are criminals, and don't care about debts they are merely turning in evidence about others to get a lower sentence on their crime but feel doing so will put their life in danger.

    And most actually have to spend some time in prison ( under another name of course in an area far from their home area)

    Then went they get out, they will be given a skill, helped insetting up this new identity ( another new one,not showing any prison served normally)

    In trade, they can never contact parents ( go to their funerals) if they have grown children they can never call or see them again, Never go to a family reunion, a high school reunion. They are asked not to even do some of the same hobbies they used to do and so on.

    The hardest thing to hide is people who take specific medication or medical treatment. That could be tracked down.
    GaryArt's Avatar
    GaryArt Posts: 43, Reputation: 12
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    #9

    Aug 19, 2006, 02:05 AM
    First of all, there's more than one program of the type you refer to. The most widely known (because of TV and movies) would by the Witness Security Program, run by the U.S. Marshal's Service. Given that the overwhelming majority of folks who enter the program are criminals themselves, and that everyone in the program enters (or disappears from their former life) rather abruptly, I would speculate that most of them leave debts behind, even if it is only that month's phone bill. The likelihood of a collection effort successfully penetrating the WitSec program, in the case of a protectee who complies with all instructions and requirements of the program, is exceptionally low. You should also know that in the overwhelming number of cases, this is a temporary program - only a very few people need to be protected forever. An interesting thing to learn would be what percentage of program participants, after the need for protection has ended, choose to continue living under their new identity out of convenience, or return to their original identity once it is safe to do so. It is known that number of folks do voluntarily leave the program, with the most common reason being that they miss certain relatives. A person can also be ejected from the program, if he or she significantly violates the rules. A notable example is Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, put in the program after testifying in a Federal prosecution against the late John Gotti. After Gravano, in his new identity, took up bank robbery and drug dealing, the Feds gave him the boot, and told him he was on his own.
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    thatitalianguy Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Sep 18, 2006, 03:35 PM
    Hey everyone. I was browsing through this website and saw something about the Witness Protection Program. My best friend was in the program. He wasn't able to give out any information to anyone. Not even his new girlfriend. It's a really strict thing so I have heard. He wasn't allowed to give you any numbers to reach him, couldn't even tell her his new name. The girl went a little crazy and went to the police wanting a license check ran on him, background checks, etc. From what I have read, cops have no right to this. She would question him but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He told her very little just so she would stop accusing him of not looking exsistant. She broke up with him and even after that, she hacked into his emails and so forth. She still refused to believe him and said that the whole thing was weird that some people didn't know. You would honestly think she was in kahoots with the person who did time for threatening his family as nosey as she was to try to keep digging dirt on him. I'm not sure if this girlfriend of his had any right to do that or not.

    It's one strict program and I can imagine it being really hard to have to lie to people just for your own good. But that was an interesting question, can't say I have known anyone to do that. I don't know much about the WWP, I hear a lot about it on TV. But you can't really go by what the TV says, like someone mentioned.

    Well, just thought I would drop in. Have a good day everyone.
    BillyMadison's Avatar
    BillyMadison Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Sep 10, 2009, 02:04 PM
    Italian guys don't offer much besides made up stories...
    No where in your answer did anything you said, at anytime, provide a minute fragment of worthwhile information.
    I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul
    kado12's Avatar
    kado12 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Sep 20, 2010, 12:42 PM
    Well witness protection program is very very hard and some people go on there with out any fault of there own all I can say it is there to help you but it feels like prison your doing and so much stress. And a life that is unberable some times but you don't have a life you may have a illness you need friends and family round you but you can't have them and then you have to try and sort it all on your own you don't have a normal life and you won't until the day you leave or you stay on the program wich I wouldn't wish on anyone to do many thanks
    chelseyreid's Avatar
    chelseyreid Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Jul 4, 2011, 02:43 AM
    My opinon is if the justice service wants a person to be a witness then they should do everythg in there power to protect this person. Even if this means that they have to fund for there debts or in my opinon they should have them cleared! If a person is willing to loose there family to put a criminal behind bars,then the government should provide everythg that person needs to be safe.
    supportlessinca's Avatar
    supportlessinca Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Dec 14, 2011, 02:02 AM
    What do you have to do to receive child support if the father of your children goes into the witness protection program? (Previously it was court ordered slready).

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