2014 Staffing
Investigators 17
Support Staff13
Law Clerks/Student Workers/Interns3

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 Chief Stephen Robinson and Assistant Chief Nida Rice.

Examples of some of the successful prosecutions within the Economic Crimes Division in 2014 include the following:

People v. Denise Goodwin
In this case, the defendant gained access to the victim as a hospice caregiver for the victim’s wife. The victim permitted the defendant to handle his financial affairs after his wife died, and the victim went missing approximately one month later. Although the victim’s body was never found, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and grand theft from the decedent. Goodwin was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus four years.

People v. Tara Moore
This defendant stole more than $3 million from her employer and other victims over an approximate eight-year period. While acting as the bookkeeper for her employer’s restaurant and related businesses, Moore manipulated the accounts and forged documents. She also victimized in-laws, including stealing $1.9 million from her 74-year-old mother-in-law. A jury convicted the defendant of these thefts and she was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in state prison.

People v. Rite Aid
In this case, our consumer unit joined with the Riverside and Alameda District Attorneys’ Offices and the State Board of Pharmacy to obtain a civil unfair competition judgment against the owners of the Rite Aid pharmacy chain within California. The complaint alleged that Rite Aid pharmacists throughout the state frequently failed to fully comply with the board’s rules requiring personal pharmacist consultations when prescription drug customers received new prescriptions or new dosages of existing prescriptions. The company was ordered to pay in excess of $498,000 in civil penalties and costs and was permanently enjoined to comply properly with California’s standards for patient consultations.

People v. Khaled Helmy
The defendant in this case was operating a purported “credit repair” business that claimed to repair the credit of customers. In reality, the defendant simply falsified letters and forwarded them on to credit rating agencies while charging his victims hundreds of dollars. He also stole the identities of clients and stole additional monies. Helmy ultimately pleaded guilty to forging hundreds of letters and was sentenced to a total of three years and four months in state prison.