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Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a sampling of some of the questions we hear from callers to our office. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us at: (916) 554-2700 or you can write to us at: U.S. Attorney's Office, Public Questions, 501 I Street, Suite 10-100 Sacramento, CA 95814.

The office is called the "U.S. Attorney's Office;" does that mean you represent "U.S." citizens like myself?

We represent the federal government in virtually all litigation involving the United States in the Eastern District of California. This includes all criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers. However, we do not generally represent private individuals in litigation against another person, company, or government agency.

Okay, then can you suggest someone who could represent me?

Sorry, our office is not permitted to make direct referrals. However, the California State Bar Association maintains a list of California attorneys and their website contains information about ways to find lawyers and seek legal assistance.  The website can be found at

Is your office under the "Attorney General?"

Yes, but it is under United States Attorney General, not the California Attorney General.

I am having a problem with a local business. Where can I turn for help?

Though it is not our function to provide legal advice, you might consider contacting either the Better Business Bureau (at: BBB of Northeast California or BBB of Central California) or the California Chamber of Commerce (at: These organizations have clearinghouses for such complaints.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or a criminal act by a business, you should also contact a law enforcement agency that investigates that type of crime, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in fraud cases, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in cases involving environmental crimes, or the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL OIG) in cases involving violations of federal employment laws.  More information on contacting federal agencies is below.

I need to contact a federal agency other than the Department of Justice. Can you tell me how?

If the agency has a local office, you can look in the blue pages of the telephone book or on the Internet. If not, or if you need to contact their Washington, D.C. office, you may call the Federal Information Center toll-free at (800) 688-9889.

If I want to report a federal crime, who should I call?

Federal crimes can be reported to federal investigative agencies such as the following:

 Agency  Phone  Tip line or website
FBI (916) 746-7000
ATF (925) 557-2830 and
DEA (877) 792-2873
DOL OIG (800) 347-3756
EPA (800) 300-2193


There are other federal investigative agencies as well.  If you are unsure who to call, you may call us first at (916) 554-2700 and we will try to direct you to the correct agency.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or your local police for immediate assistance.

Updated July 19, 2023