The United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Individuals and businesses facing government investigation or criminal prosecution in the Southern 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 Southern District of California.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (S.D. Cal.) is one of four federal courts in California and is part of the Ninth Circuit. The S.D. Cal sits at El Centro and the Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse and U.S. Courthouse Annex in San Diego and comprises Imperial and San Diego counties.

The S.D. Cal. Consists of one Chief Judge: Larry Alan Burns (San Diego)

Seven District Judges:

  • Dana Sabraw (San Diego)
  • William Q. Hayes (San Diego)
  • Janis Lynn Sammartino (San Diego)
  • Anthony J. Battaglia (San Diego)
  • Cathy Ann Bencivengo (San Diego)
  • Gonzalo P. Curiel (San Diego)
  • Cynthia Ann Bashant (San Diego)
Nine Senior Judges:

  • William Benner Enright (San Diego)
  • Marilyn L. Huff (San Diego)
  • Barry Ted Moskowitz (San Diego)
  • Jeffrey T. Miller (San Diego)
  • Thomas J. Whelan (San Diego)
  • M. James Lorenz (San Diego)
  • John A. Houston (San Diego)
  • Roger T. Benitez (San Diego)
  • Michael M. Anello (San Diego)

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

The current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California is Robert S. Brewer, Jr., who was nominated for the position by President Donald Trump on June 25, 2018 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on January 2, 2019.

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division for the USAO of the Southern District of California is organized into six sections

  • Appellate
    The Appellate Section is responsible for all appellate litigation before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including filing briefs, conducting oral arguments and advising trial attorneys in litigation in district court.
  • Major Crimes
    The Major Crimes Section is the largest section in the Criminal Division and accounts for around 95 percent of all cases prosecuted in the Southern District of California, handling cases involving illegal entry and reentry, drug importation, smuggling, alien smuggling prosecutions, violent crimes, firearms, gang crimes, sex trafficking, fraud, civil rights, and other offenses. The Major Crimes Section of the Southern District of California is particularly active given the number of cases arising from policing the 141-mile long border between California and Mexico, six Ports of Entry, and approximately 70 miles of coastline spanning from the U.S./Mexico border to the northernmost tip of San Diego County.
  • Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)
    The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting members of international and domestic drug trafficking and alien smuggling organizations including Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking groups.
  • Major Frauds and Public Corruption
    The Major Frauds and Public Corruption Section manages the prosecution of complex fraud and public corruption cases in the District and is responsible for prosecuting cases related to securities fraud, financial institution fraud, healthcare fraud, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and mortgage fraud matters in addition to corporate embezzlement, insider trading, identity theft, environmental crimes, and select organized crime matters. Due to the high concentration of military installations in the Southern District, many of the Major Frauds Section’s cases involve fraud perpetrated on the military in its procurement of goods and services.
  • National Security and Cybercrimes
    The National Security and Cybercrimes Section (NSCS) covers issues related to international and domestic terrorism, counter-espionage, counter-proliferation and cyber intrusions. The NSCS works in close conjunction with the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Defense Criminal Investigative Services, Secret Service, and the multi-agency Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit (FFL)
    The Forfeiture and Financial Litigation Unit (FFL) recovers assets and property from defendants through forfeiture and restitution statutes and handles cases involving a broad array of crimes including fraud, drug trafficking, money laundering, child exploitation, human trafficking, Bank Secrecy Act violations, bank robbery, and additional violent crimes in addition to handling civil forfeitures and collection of debts owed by defendants through restitution orders, fines and special assessments.

Civil Division

The Civil Division of the USAO for the Southern District of California primarily defends civil cases filed against the United States and its agencies and employees in federal court including employment discrimination actions, motor vehicle accidents and other personal injury suits, Bivens constitutional challenges, medical malpractice actions, Administrative Procedure Act cases, immigration actions, challenges to land management decisions under the National Environmental Policy Act, Freedom of Information Act litigation, and the defense of Social Security, Medicare and other federal programs.

The Civil Division also has an Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) program, which investigates, prosecutes, and seeks damages and penalties in cases of fraud and other violations of federal laws commonly arising under the False Claims Act, including “qui tam” actions initiated by private citizen whistleblowers, and involve fraud in the health care and defense procurement contexts. Health care fraud matters, which usually involve Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, or other federally supported health care programs are also handled via the ACE initiative.

HHM and the SDCA

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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