The Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously passed Senate Bill 1474, a piece of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which aims to protect the state’s homeowners from fraud.
The bill would allow the state’s attorney general to convene a special grand jury to investigate and indict perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in more than one county, as well as crimes conducted by a single defendant or multiple defendants working together.
Under the current law, fraud in which the victims are located across the state require separate grand juries and charges must be filed in every county where the defendant committed a crime. This legislation provides the option of a special grand jury that can produce indictments for financial crimes beyond the scope of single-county grand juries.
“Scammers continue to prey on vulnerable Californians who simply want to stay in their homes,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “This legislation will create a more cohesive legal process to prosecute those who prey on Californians across county lines.”
SB 1474 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
— Justin T. Hilley