The United States District Court for the Central District of California

Individuals and businesses facing government investigation or criminal prosecution in the Central District of California should hire experienced counsel to protect their interests. HHM has experience in a wide variety of federal criminal areas and a strong presence in the Central District of California.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (C.D. Cal.) serves more than 19 million people across Southern and Central California, making it the most populous federal judicial district in the nation. Cases from the Central District of California are appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit—except for patent claims and claims against the United States government via the Tucker Act, both of which are appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The Central District is organized into three geographical divisions spanning seven counties. The Eastern Division covers Riverside and San Bernardino Counties at the Riverside courthouse. The Southern Division covers Orange County and hears cases at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse in Santa Ana. The Western Division covers Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. Cases are heard in two courthouses in downtown Los Angeles—the new First Street Courthouse and the Edward R. Roybal Courthouse.

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California is comprised of one Chief Judge: Virginia A. Phillips (Los Angeles)

19 District Judges:

  • Stephen Victor Wilson (Los Angeles)
  • David O. Carter (Santa Ana)
  • Percy Anderson (Los Angeles)
  • John F. Walter (Los Angeles)
  • R. Gary Klausner (Los Angeles)
  • James V. Selna (Santa Ana)
  • Cormac J. Carney (Santa Ana)
  • Dale S. Fischer (Los Angeles)
  • Andrew J. Guilford (Santa Ana)
  • Philip S. Gutierrez (Los Angeles)
  • Otis D. Wright II (Los Angeles)
  • George H. Wu (Los Angeles)
  • Dolly M. Gee (Los Angeles)
  • Josephine L. Staton (Santa Ana)
  • John A Kronstadt (Los Angeles)
  • Michael W. Fitzgerald (Los Angeles)
  • Jesus G. Bernal (Riverside)
  • Fernando M. Olguin (Los Angeles)
  • Andre Birotte Jr. (Los Angeles)
Nine Senior Judges:

  • Manuel Real (Los Angeles)
  • Terry J. Hatter, Jr. (Los Angeles)
  • Consuelo Bland Marshall (Los Angeles)
  • William Duffy Keller (Los Angeles)
  • Ronald S.W. Lew (Los Angeles)
  • Dean D. Pregerson (Los Angeles)
  • Christina A. Snyder (Los Angeles)
  • S. James Otero (Los Angeles)
  • Valerie Baker Fairbank (Los Angeles)

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California

The current United States Attorney for the Central District of California is Nicola T. Hanna. The USAO for the Central District is the largest United States Attorney’s Office outside of Washington, D.C. The office employs over 260 attorneys, and more than 250 support staff. The USAO for the Central District is divided into four operational sections tasked with prosecuting a wide variety of criminal offenses and defending the interests of the federal government: Civil, Criminal, Tax, and National Security.

Civil Division

The Civil Division represents the federal government and its agencies and employees in civil litigation at both trial and appellate levels. The general Civil Section defends civil actions brought against the federal government, its agencies and employees and brings specific affirmative civil actions to protect federal property and enforce federal statutes. The Financial Litigation Section recovers debt owed to the United States and victims of federal crimes pursuant to civil and criminal judgments. The Civil Fraud Section investigates and litigates civil False Claims Act cases involving fraud on the United States and civil penalty cases involving a broad range of government programs. The Civil Rights Section enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination, protect constitutional rights and ensure equal opportunity.

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division is organized into eight Sections:

  • Asset Forfeiture
    Focuses on cases in such diverse areas such as bank and health care fraud, smuggling, gambling and child exploitation.
  • Criminal Appeals
    Manages all of the Office’s matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, numbering over 300 appellate briefs and 110 oral arguments per year for cases involving challenging legal issues such as affirmative government appeals, appeals involving issues of first impression an efforts to obtain en banc review.
  • Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes
    Prosecute sophisticated attacks on computer systems, intellectual property offenses, and Internet Fraud as part of the Department of Justice’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (“CHIP”) Program.
  • Public Corruption and Civil Rights
    Prosecute impactful cases intended to preserve the government’s integrity, reforming corrupt behavior and protecting citizens’ constitutional rights by prosecuting instances of bribery, extortion, fraud, and embezzlement committed by elected and appointed officials.
  • Major Fraud
    Investigates and prosecutes some of the most significant white collar crime cases in the country and is responsible for litigating matters involving corporate embezzlement, securities and accounting fraud, insider trading, and stock manipulation.
  • Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)
    Specialize in developing cases against major drug traffickers for violations of federal drug, money-laundering, tax, and racketeering statutes.
  • Environmental and Community Safety Crimes
    Handle a broad range of environmental crime cases, including pollution by ocean going cruise vessels, underground fuel storage tank leaks, smuggling and distribution of ozone-depleting substances in violation of the federal Clean Air Act, and the smuggling of endangered species among many other issues.
  • Violent and Organized Crime
    Prosecute some of the most dangerous criminals in the Central District, including cases involving kidnapping, prison murders and assaults, firearms offenses, and armed robberies of banks and other commercial establishments.

Tax Division

The Tax Division handles a variety of civil tax cases and matters, including suits for refund of income, employment, excise, estate and gift taxes; suits to collect delinquent tax liabilities and to foreclose federal tax liens; adversary proceedings and contested matters in bankruptcy, objections to confirmation of Chapter 11 and 13 organization plans and complaints to determine dischargeability of debt and for turnover of property; actions to enforce IRS summonses; suits for summary review of jeopardy and termination of assessments and a variety of criminal tax prosecutions, including tax evasion and the filing of false tax returns.

National Security Division

The National Security Division is the first of its kind in the nation for a USAO and is tasked with combating national security and cyber security threats facing the region. The National Security Division is comprised of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section and the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section. The Terrorism and Export Crimes Section works closely with the FBI to investigate suspected terrorists, prevent terrorist crimes, and bring criminal charges when warranted. The Intellectual Property Crimes Section investigates and prosecutes high-tech crimes, including both cyber-based attacks on the nation’s electronic infrastructure and economic crimes committed using computers, as well as on intellectual property crimes, such as theft of intellectual property and economic espionage.

HHM and the CDCAL

The knowledgeable and competent federal defense team at HHM is prepared to assist you with your FBI, OIG, IRS, or other federal government legal matters. If your personal reputation or corporate entity are under attack we can utilize our invaluable insight of the federal litigation process to develop a personalized and effective strategy to safeguard your interests and ensure your rights are protected at all stages of your case.

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