April 2019
Volume 4, Issue 4
Dear Friends:
One of the most common questions I receive these days is, why didn’t you file charges?

Even in this era of criminal justice reform, with its popular push to end mass incarceration, an equally pressing concern remains the prosecuting of crime in our community.
Clearing Cannabis Convictions
District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced an innovative partnership with Code for America to clear or reduce as many as 50,000 cannabis convictions in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County is among the first in California to take part in Code for America’s pilot program that proactively identifies convictions that qualify for resentencing or dismissal under Proposition 64, the voter initiative that legalized cannabis.

“As technology advances and the criminal justice system evolves, we as prosecutors must do our part to pursue innovative justice procedures on behalf of our constituents,” District Attorney Lacey said during an April 1 news conference. “This collaboration will improve people’s lives by erasing the mistakes of their past and hopefully lead them on a path to a better future.”

District Attorney Lacey’s staff began meeting with Code for America in July 2018 to determine whether its technology could help prosecutors in Los Angeles County review tens of thousands of cannabis convictions.

Code for America’s technology employs an algorithm that scans and interprets conviction data to determine who is eligible for relief.

Proposition 64, passed by California voters in November 2016, put the onus on members of the public to ask the court to clear their criminal records of eligible cannabis convictions.

When few people took advantage of the voter-approved process, state lawmakers in September 2018 required prosecutors to identify and review all eligible cannabis charges. They will be automatically cleared or reduced unless prosecutors file formal objections before July 1, 2020.

“Helping to clear a path by reducing or dismissing cannabis convictions can result in someone securing a job or benefitting from other programs that may have been unavailable to them in the past,” District Attorney Lacey said. “We are grateful to Code for America for bringing its technology to our office.”

The pilot program comes at no cost to taxpayers or those who will benefit from it.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
A dutiful employee may be duped into making false payments that can hurt a business’s bottom line.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A $1.2 million settlement was reached in a lawsuit against an internet services company. Find out how the Hollywood-based firm violated automatic subscription renewal laws and how it must change its practices. 

  • Two men are facing charges in a $4 million high-end automobile sublease scam. Click here to learn how they allegedly were able to defraud a dozen victims.

  • A man is behind bars for animal cruelty and making criminal threats. Read more about the threat he made to a water company and what deputies discovered inside his home as a result.
Consumer Fraud Summit
Spreads Awareness
Anyone can become a victim of fraud.

That was the message from the office’s Consumer Fraud Summit.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey recounted how even her mother was scammed several years ago. That experience led District Attorney Lacey to increase public awareness, especially among seniors, to recognize and prevent these often-devastating financial frauds.

“We in the District Attorney’s Office are committed to prosecuting these crimes and making sure that perpetrators are held accountable,” District Attorney Lacey said. “But in reality, these scams will continue as long as there are victims to be had. We all know the key to stopping fraud is education.”

More than 200 prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, local government officials, community advocates and business leaders attended the March 7 summit at Almansor Court banquet center in Alhambra.

Panels of experts, led by a deputy district attorney from the office’s Consumer Protection Division, discussed topics including immigration fraud and cyber privacy and security.

They explained a range of scams – from enduring cons like those involving vehicle odometer rollbacks to new forms of cyber intrusion and identity theft – and how to avoid them.

The summit provided community leaders and law enforcement personnel with information to help protect their constituents from consumer fraud.
Did You Know...?
Skippy, the office’s first facility dog, has been on the job since 2017. He is the senior member of the K-9 Unit. Skippy, Nora and Lennox comfort crime victims and witnesses in court. They also assisted those affected by mass shootings in Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks and the fatal shooting of a Trader Joe’s manager in Silver Lake.
DYK...?
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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