Verogen Increases Costs for Law Enforcement — Again

Verogen, the for-profit company that owns GEDmatch, recently increased the price to upload DNA for law-enforcement cases by more than 25%.  As of December 1, 2022, the price is $700 per upload, comparable to FamilyTreeDNA.  It was previously $550 per upload.

 

Genealogists working with law enforcement were given no warning.  Those who had entered contracts to work at the $550 price may have to take a loss.

Cairenn Binder of Coast to Coast Genetic Genealogy Services LLC confirmed that her company was not notified of the change beforehand.  They can’t simply issue a revised bill to contracted clients, she says, so they will take a loss of $150 per case.  Had they known about the price increase in advance, they would have been able to bill accordingly.

Another established forensic genetic genealogist, who asked to remain anonymous, said “This price increase is unexpected and I feel unneeded. In a field where every dime counts when it comes to funding for law enforcement agencies, this price increase causes us, the genealogy organization, to pass that increase on to agencies. Something a lot of underfunded agencies cannot afford. It’s disheartening to see a for profit company increasing the price of a simple upload.”

Verogen last increased their price for law enforcement in January, 2022, from $199 to $550 per upload.  In that case, their forensic clients were notified a few weeks in advance so they could prepare.  In May, 2022, they increased the one-month subscription price for the general public by 50%, from $10 to $15.

As of 2022, FamilyTreeDNA charges $650 for law enforcement agencies to upload and $700 if the upload is done by an independent person or business.

Neither FamilyTreeDNA nor Verogen/GEDmatch is transparent with their users that they are selling access to law enforcement nor what they charge.  Parabon and Intermountain Forensics are to be credited for making that information available to us.

 

Updates to This Post

17 Dec 2022 — Corrected the price structure at FamilyTreeDNA.  They charge $650 if the law-enforcement agency does the upload and $700 if an investigative genetic genealogist does it on behalf of the agency.

 

17 thoughts on “Verogen Increases Costs for Law Enforcement — Again”

  1. I had no idea they were paying any more than any off the street kit. This is awful. Why? Does it cost more to store L.E. kits? Do those companies supply the match or is that still up to L.E. to figure out? Sounds like a scam to me.

    1. And no, they’re not identifying the person whose DNA it is; the fee is just to upload the kit into the database. LE still has to bring in a genetic genealogist to do the research or work the case themselves.

  2. This is very irritating! I had no idea that they were charging law enforcement for uploads in the first place. I knew about the monthly price increase for regular users.

    You would think that everyone (except the criminals, of course!) would be more than willing to help, not hinder, getting answers for the families of crime victims. I say this from the point of view of a crime victim’s. In 1977, my uncle and his 2nd wife were murdered. In 1987, a cousin was murdered. There have been others. Thankfully, those crimes were solved.

    I can’t imagine standing in the way of catching the criminals and trying to bring some form of closure to the families involved.

    1. My condolences for the tragedies in your family. GEDmatch has been charging LE for uploads since 2020. I’m not sure when FTDNA started charging. I’ll update the post when/if I find out.

      1. Thank you. Your condolences are appreciated.

        I look forward to your updates. Merry Christmas!

  3. Wild really. I’d offer up my DNA for free to LE. I’m not sure how I feel about profiting from my opt-ins. I think that they need to be candid that they’re making money from this.

    1. Perhaps, although Verogen/GEDmatch gave adequate warning the last time they increased the price so perhaps these small businesses didn’t see the need.

  4. I do not think the increase is cost justifiable and smacks of highway robbery. Verogen acquires our dna, free, and so has a product to sell that does not cost them any dollars, other than administrative costs. Wonder what percent return they are getting on their investment? They should proceed with more caution. Government does not like gouging. A case could be made against Verogen………..easily. Gawd, do I see another Netflix docudrama? I have 6 kits at Gedmatch; and I might just delete all of my kits as a protest against their playing hard ball with LE in terms of dollars.

  5. I think that law enforcement agencies should get a big break for DNA criminal searches. They need every option that they can use to catch rapists, kidnappers and murderers.

    1. Regular users can upload to GEDmatch for free. They are the product being sold to law enforcement.

    2. I think LE should get it free, think about eminent domain. The government can do what they want to do……..

  6. I have no sympathy. LE is getting a free ride off of the hundreds of dollars most of us testers have paid instead of them having to develop their own database by collecting dna. It is because of this free ride LE is getting that I have opted out of LE’s use of the FTDNA and GEDMatch files I control.

    1. You cannot opt out of all LE cases at GEDmatch. If your kits are visible to others, they can be used in some LE investigations.

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