The Major Frauds Section investigates and prosecutes some of the most significant “white-collar crime” cases in the country. The Section is comprised of experienced federal prosecutors, and is nationally recognized not only for the size and sophistication of the cases it handles, but for the breadth of its caseload.
In the area of corporate and securities fraud, the Major Frauds Section is well known for the major cases it has successfully prosecuted involving corporate fraud, corporate embezzlement, securities and accounting fraud, insider trading, and stock manipulation. The Section is equally adept at prosecuting other kinds of investor frauds, including international mass marketing frauds, Ponzi schemes, boiler rooms, loan modification schemes, and identity theft rings. The cases brought by the Section frequently involve losses to victims totaling tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.
In addition to the cases it brings on behalf of private individuals, the Major Frauds Section handles a broad array of highly significant cases involving fraud against the government. The section has a specialized unit dedicated to attacking health care fraud, and in recent years, that unit has successfully prosecuted major cases involving hospitals, doctors, home health agencies, diagnostic testing facilities, medical clinics, and durable medical equipment suppliers. The section also handles significant cases of procurement fraud (including fraud involving Recovery Act funds), government program fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and tax evasion. In addition, the section handles major cases of fraud against banks, mortgage companies, and other financial institutions, including cases involving the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.
Members of the Major Frauds Section serve as coordinators for a number of task forces and working groups, including the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group, the Health Care Fraud Task Force, Operation Canadian Eagle/Project Emptor, the Financial Institution Fraud Task Force, the Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group; the Insurance Fraud Task Force; the High Intensity Financial Crime Area Program, and the Identity Theft Task Force.
The Major Frauds Section works closely with investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as with Inspectors General from a wide number of government agencies.
George Cardona is the Chief of the Major Frauds Section. From July 2002 to July 2015, George Cardona served as the Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. He began work as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1991, working in the Appeals and Major Frauds sections and serving as a Deputy Chief in the Major Frauds section (1998) and Chief of the Criminal Division (1999-2000). In his time at the United States Attorney’s Office, AUSA Cardona has participated in a number of significant cases including the mortgage fraud trial of the then-sitting governor of Arizona, Fife Symington, and the kickback and false statement prosecution of the Milberg Weiss law firm that resulted in guilty pleas by two partners. Most recently, he was the lead attorney in the government’s civil action against Standard and Poor’s, a case that alleged the ratings agency engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in two types of structured financial products, Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs). In February 2015, Standard and Poor’s agreed to the largest penalty ever by a ratings agency, and paid a total of $1.375 billion to settle this and a series of related state actions. AUSA Cardona received an Attorney General’s Award for his extraordinary work. See Five Assistant U.S. Attorneys from Los Angeles Receive Attorney General Awards for Work on Two Massive Fraud Cases.
AUSA Cardona attended Yale University, where he majored in Physics, and Yale Law School, where he received his JD in 1986. After law school, AUSA Cardona clerked for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and then worked in private practice in Los Angeles. From 1989 to 1991, AUSA Cardona worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County. From 2000 through 2001, he was a full-time lecturer at the UCLA School of Law, where he has continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member. AUSA Cardona lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a dog, and several cats.
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SECTION CONTACT INFORMATION
The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Attn: Major Frauds Section
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012