Economic Crimes Division
The Economic Crimes Division prosecutes economic-related crimes, which harm individuals and businesses in San Diego County. The division is led by Division Chief Stephen Robinson and Assistant Division Chief Nida Rice. Investment scams, real estate fraud schemes and identity theft cases continue to plague San Diego County and its citizens. In 2012, this unit charged more than 800 individuals with felony violations. It also continued to protect consumers by successfully filing numerous civil cases to prohibit unfair business practices.
Over the last year, the Economic Crimes Division had several successful prosecutions and civil settlements including:
People v. Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and Star-Kist
These civil defendants agreed to an injunction to follow the federal packing standards and stop under filling cans of tuna; and further agreed to pay $3.3 million in civil penalties, costs and other relief. This case was a joint effort with Marin County and Riverside County District Attorney's Offices.
People v. Adams, et al
The defendants were charged in a complex identity theft and real estate fraud case which resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. The lead defendant, Tyler Adams, was convicted of 48 felonies and was sentenced to 14 years in state prison.
People v. CVS Pharmacy
In a state wide effort CVS was alleged to have violated California laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of pharmaceutical and pharmacy waste, photo waste and other hazardous waste. Under the final judgment the defendant agreed to be bound by the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations of law and further agreed to pay over $13 million in civil penalties, costs and supplemental environmental projects. More than $1.5 million of the settlement was for San Diego County.
People v. Zepeda, et al
Multiple defendants were charged in a real estate foreclosure rescue scam which involved over 100 victims and millions of dollars in losses. Three defendants were convicted of multiple felonies and sentenced to prison for 12 years, six years and three years, four months, respectively. The fourth defendant is still pending trial in 2013.