Economic Crimes Division

The Economic Crimes Division prosecutes hundreds of economic-related crimes each year which harm individuals and businesses in San Diego County. The types of crimes include computer intrusion, identity theft, investment scams, embezzlements, real estate matters and the theft of public assistance funds. These cases are prosecuted by the same Deputy District Attorney from issuance through sentencing due to the complex nature of the crimes. The division also protects consumers and businesses by successfully filing numerous civil cases to prohibit unfair business practices within the marketplace. The division is led by Division Chief Stephen Robinson and Assistant Division Chief Nida Rice.

In 2013 the Economic Crimes Division had several successful prosecutions and civil settlements, examples include:

People v. John Fordley
The defendant stole personal identifying information and checks from numerous individuals and used this information to commit fraud and assume alternate identities throughout the country. After an extensive effort he was convicted of identity theft, burglary, forgery, making criminal threats and witness intimidation. He was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

People v. Timothy Brachmanis
In this matter the defendant victimized more than 11 victims in a real estate investment scam. He collected more than $3.7 million dollars from victims and failed to invest the money as promised. Brachmanis was convicted of numerous theft counts and sentenced to nine years and eight months in state prison.

People v. Rite Aid
In a statewide effort, Rite Aid was alleged to have violated California laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of hazardous waste and materials over a seven-year period. Under terms of the final judgment, the Rite Aid agreed to be bound by the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting the retailer from committing future violations of law and agreed to pay more than $12 million in civil penalties and costs. San Diego County received more than $700,000 of this judgment.

People v. Fidelity National Financial, Inc.
In this case, our consumer unit joined with the Los Angeles and Ventura District Attorney's offices to obtain a civil unfair competition judgment against the nation's largest title insurance company for operating a software platform used to make unlawful secret payments to real estate brokers to steer business to Fidelity. The company was ordered to pay $873,588 in civil penalties and costs and was prohibited from operating any such system or otherwise paying unlawful fees to brokers.

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