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Attorney General Becerra Announces More Than $450,000 in Grants to Fight Privacy And Intellectual Property Crimes

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

California Department of Justice’s Awards Going to Los Angeles City, Sacramento Valley, San Mateo, San Joaquin and Placer

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded more than $450,000 to five entities across the state to help fight violations of privacy and intellectual property rights. The grants are awarded from the Attorney General’s Privacy and Piracy Fund, created in 2006, as part of a settlement with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to fight civil and criminal violations of privacy and intellectual property rights and to adopt corporate governance reforms.

The DOJ grants will fund a broad range of activities and resources to support recipients with the hiring of personnel to facilitate investigations and prosecutions of privacy crimes; to enhance labs with improved and updated hardware and software; and to provide training for law enforcement staff.

“It is crucial that our law enforcement agencies are equipped with the resources needed to help protect Californians' privacy,” said Attorney General Becerra. “As we rely on the Internet now more than ever for shopping, banking and working, it’s vital that prosecutors have the expertise and technology needed to go after those who seek to harm us. These grants will help provide local law enforcement with additional tools and resources they need to help protect Californians.”

San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office will receive more than $200,000.

"Stealing a person’s identity, personal information, trade secrets, or selling counterfeit products are tools used by criminal enterprises and individuals to harm the financial stability of every member of our community,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber. “In San Joaquin County we have been able to address these crimes through the leadership of Attorney General Becerra and the Privacy and Piracy grant. With tools such as the grant we are able to investigate and hold those accountable for the crimes they commit. The grant also allows resources to educate and empower the public with tools on how to protect their identity and privacy.”

Placer County District Attorney’s Office will receive more than $88,000.

“This grant aids in the ability of our office to investigate and prosecute suspects that threaten the community’s economic security, privacy, and the safety of our citizens,” said Placer County District Attorney Scott Owens. “This is of particular concern because these criminals frequently target the large retirement communities in our county. It has long been the mission of our office to protect these communities from criminals who seek to exploit them.  This grant will offer the financial support to educate our retired community and protect them from criminals who target their privacy and economic security. We are very appreciative to the California Attorney General’s Office for their support and contribution to our mission.”  

San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office will receive more than $77,000.

“The funds provided to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office in 2016 through the Privacy and Piracy grant greatly expanded our ability to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies through updated digital forensic equipment, software licenses, and training to our sworn personnel,” said San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. “Through the grant funds, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office has established a digital forensic foothold that has been, and will continue to be, used to combat both identity and piracy violations. The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office strives to keep expanding its presence in the digital forensic realms, thereby granting local law enforcement additional tools needed to successfully investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”

The Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, through a partnership with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, will receive more than $45,000. 

“Cyber crime and technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and we must be able to keep up with new and emerging technologies to continue to fight these and other types of crimes,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. “This grant from the Department of Justice will help us do just that.”

The LA City Attorney’s Office will receive more than $40,000.

“As my office continues aggressively to stand up for consumers, this new consumer protection specialist [funded by the grant] will expand our capacity to enforce our laws and secure timely justice for victims,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “I very much appreciate the Attorney General's ongoing support of this vital work.”

These California Department of Justice grants are part of a broader initiative to facilitate the investigations and prosecutions of violations of the public’s privacy and intellectual property rights.

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