Thursday, May 31, 2012

California bill allows grand jury for financial crimes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California's attorney general could convene a statewide grand jury to investigate financial crimes that cross county lines under bills approved in the state Assembly and Senate.

The legislation unanimously passed Wednesday is part of a package of consumer-protection bills that Attorney General Kamala Harris pursued in response to the mortgage crisis.

Sen. Loni Hancock, a Berkeley Democrat, says a statewide grand jury is needed when mortgage fraud crosses jurisdictions and involves multiple victims.

Bankers oppose other parts of Harris' package, but have not taken positions on SB1474 and AB1763.

Another bill approved Wednesday, AB1950 by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Davis of Los Angeles, extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting mortgage fraud from one year to three years.

The bills now go to the other house.

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