January 2018
Volume 3, Issue 1
Dear Friends:
The wildfires that have upended so many lives recently should remind us that disasters strike Southern California year-round.

During times of emergency, the public should be on the lookout for excessive price increases to essential goods and services as well as other disaster-related fraud.
Spotlight:
 Bureau of Investigation
Nearly 300 sworn peace officers make up the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.

Established in 1913, it is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County.

District attorney investigators track down hard-to-find witnesses needed to bolster challenging criminal cases. They also use their intellect and know-how to break through complicated webs of corruption that rob individuals, businesses and public agencies. Some investigators comprise a go-to team of cybersecurity experts who help unravel computer crimes.

They also provide support to other law enforcement agencies.

During the recent wildfires, 14 investigators assisted the Ventura Police Department, securing areas under evacuation orders and alerting firefighters to new flare-ups. Two others worked with state agencies to warn residents affected by Sylmar-area fires about scams that plague homeowners in a disaster’s aftermath.

“Our investigators are at the ready to assist in times of crisis and supplement public safety efforts throughout Southern California,” said Chief John Neu, who leads the Bureau of Investigation. “Investigators come to the District Attorney’s Office with a great deal of experience. They possess a high degree of expertise in a range of complex investigations and are skilled with the tools and techniques needed to successfully bring criminals to justice.”

District attorney investigators handle a variety of challenging assignments. They take on white-collar crimes, auto insurance fraud, consumer scams and a host of public assistance schemes, said Neu, pictured above, with Deputy Chief Kris Carter.

Investigators also team with deputy district attorneys in specialized divisions such as Justice System Integrity, Public Integrity, Organized Crime, Major Crimes and Cyber Crime.

In addition, they collaborate with numerous law enforcement agencies. District Attorney investigators are assigned to teams including the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotics Task Force, the Sex Crimes (SAFE) Task Force and the U.S. Secret Service High Tech Crimes Task Force.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Seniors and other computer owners have reported receiving voicemails from so-called technicians claiming to represent Microsoft. The callers warn consumers that their Windows license key has expired and all services will be suspended unless they call a toll-free number.

Read the Fraud Alert here .
  • Two former executives admitted embezzling and misappropriating millions of dollars in public funds from a nonprofit that provided counseling and job training. Learn more about this case.

  • A 25-year-old man broke into a Pomona home, severely beat his elderly grandfather and stole the man’s truck. Find out about the grandson’s prison sentence.

  • A Hermosa Beach man hired to walk a family’s dog also burglarized their Palos Verdes Estates home. Read about the dog walker’s sentence.
LADA Supports Crime Victims
Through the Holidays
The pain and suffering caused by violent crime doesn’t end with the court case for victims and their families.

The job doesn’t end there for District Attorney staff members either.

In December, dozens of investigators delivered gifts to 474 children from 190 families affected by crime as part of the office’s 33 rd annual Holiday Giving Drive. It was just one of several charitable events held throughout the office this season.

“The holidays can be an especially difficult time for those who have lost family members to crime or have been otherwise impacted,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “These kids have had a hard year, but we’re here to show them that love prevails.”

The office’s Bureau of Victim Services hosted the annual Holiday Giving Drive, collecting money through the District Attorney’s  Victim Assistance Fund and buying $28,000 in toys, clothing and necessities for investigators to deliver to the families.

An additional 50 children, also victims of crime, got a chance to do their holiday shopping personally through Heroes & Helpers, a community-based program funded by Target Corp.

Each child was paired with a volunteer from the District Attorney’s Office to help them spend $200 on gifts at a Target store in Pasadena. Other volunteers helped the children wrap their gifts or make crafts. About 200 employees participated.

Staff from throughout the District Attorney’s Office also stepped up again for the Salvation Army Compton Corps’ Angel Tree toy drive.

Volunteers purchased about 70 bicycles and piles of toys for 200 children, which is almost twice the number of those helped last year.
Prosecutors Against Gun Violence
District Attorney Jackie Lacey joined other members of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence at a Nov. 29 news conference in Washington, D.C., to urge members of Congress to take action to protect their constituents from violence caused by guns.
Did You Know...?
California was among the first states to criminalize cannabis use. In 1913, the ban was promulgated as an amendment to the state’s Poison Law by the California Board of Pharmacy, which was leading one of the nation’s earliest anti-narcotics campaigns. In 1972, the first attempt to decriminalize personal cannabis use, Proposition 19, was defeated by voters.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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