California Bills Give AG Harris More Investigative Power

The California state Assembly and Senate passed a package of bills giving Attorney General Kamala Harris new powers to pursue financial crimes. The legislation is moving to the governor for signature.

The twin bills (AB 1763 and SB 1474) allow Harris to convene a special grand jury in order to prosecute alleged crimes in different jurisdictions, which would aid the Attorney General as part of the national mortgage fraud task force formed in January.

Under current law, separate grand juries are required to cover fraud victims located all over the state. Charges must be filed in each county where a single defendant may have committed a crime.

“The Attorney General is currently engaged in the investigation of significant crimes,” said state Sen. Loni Hancock, D- Berkeley. “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.”

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