LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Martin Estrada today announced the formation of the Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force, a new section that will focus on complex corporate crimes, abuses by company insiders and offenses that impact the nation’s financial system.
Working with authorities at federal law enforcement agencies, the Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force is designed to expand and prioritize complex corporate and securities fraud investigations, some of which will involve corporate executives and other individuals involved in criminal conduct. Members of the Strike Force will examine accounting fraud, insider trading, and other matters that can directly impact the financial system and trading markets. The Strike Force will also examine criminal violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which is designed to combat money laundering and tax evasion.
“Fraud by corporate executives, traders, and other insiders corrodes public trust in our nation’s business institutions and financial system,” said United States Attorney Estrada. “This Strike Force will help focus our efforts on uncovering and punishing corporate malfeasance. Corporate criminals are on notice that my office will not tolerate efforts to deceive and cheat others.”
The Strike Force will be led by Assistant United States Attorney Brett Sagel, a veteran prosecutor with a long track record of successfully handling complex white-collar matters. AUSA Sagel will lead a new section of experienced federal prosecutors.
“Greed in the corporate environment can lead to insider trading, self-dealing and other fraudulent offenses,” said Donald Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI is proud to launch this effort with our federal partners to weed out criminal behavior and protect the investing public by leveling the playing field from Wall Street to Main Street.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation is uniquely suited to be part of the Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force,” said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher, IRS Criminal Investigation, Los Angeles field office. “We have a proven track record of investigating the most complex financial crimes in the world and look forward to continuing our work through our participation in the new Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force.”
United States Attorney Estrada today also announced the formation of the Vulnerable Communities Task Force. This Task Force will focus on prioritizing the investigation and prosecution of individuals and entities that prey on communities that typically are less likely to report crimes to law enforcement and historically have had less legal recourse to address the offenders targeting them. These groups may include immigrants and migrant workers defrauded in immigration schemes, indigent individuals reliant on public benefits, the elderly, and those who have been reluctant to seek assistance from government authorities.
“We must be mindful of the greater damage scams and con schemes can have on the most vulnerable in our community,” said United States Attorney Estrada. “Our office must be at the forefront of redressing this harm. Those who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities will be held accountable.”
“HSI is committed to working with our partners to investigate and hold anyone who preys on innocent victims accountable,” said HSI Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Eddy Wang. “This task force is yet another example of how Los Angeles law enforcement joins together to protect our vulnerable population.”
The Vulnerable Communities Task Force will be comprised of federal prosecutors who will come from sections across the office. The Task Force will be led by Assistant United States Attorney Monica Tait, a veteran prosecutor who recently has been the office’s Elder Justice Program Coordinator.