Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Assembly Committee Passes Mortgage Fraud Bill
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The state Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday approved legislation that would allow the attorney general to convene a special multi-county grand jury to investigate financial crimes.
Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a statement calling SB 1474 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, “an important piece of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights that aims to protect California homeowners from fraud and scams.”
The bill passed the committee unanimously, the attorney general said. Under current law, she explained, fraud in which the victims are located across the state require separate grand juries in every county where the defendant committed a crime. This legislation would provide for the option of a special grand jury that can produce indictments for financial crimes beyond the scope of single-county grand juries.
“Scammers continue to prey on vulnerable Californians who simply want to stay in their homes,” Attorney General Harris said. “This legislation will create a more cohesive legal process to prosecute those who prey on Californians across county lines.”
“The Attorney General is currently engaged in the investigation of significant crimes,” Hancock said in a release. “Unfortunately, county-by-county grand juries do not work well in dealing with large-scale wrongdoing in multiple jurisdictions. With this bill, the Attorney General can investigate multijurisdictional crimes – it will provide protection when Californians need it the most.”
The bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Additional information on the California Homeowner Bill of Rights is available at www.oag.ca.gov, the attorney general said.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company