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June 2016
 
From the Desk of the DA

Fraud Alert
U.S. Treasury Tax Scam

As your District Attorney, I urge you to be wary of fraudulent telephone calls from people posing as U.S. Treasury agents claiming that they are taking an enforcement action against you. Although tax season has passed, scammers are now demanding fraudulent tax payments.  In the current scheme, the scammers claim that there is an issue with your payment and they need to correct the action so that a federal claim is not filed against you. These impostors claim to be federal law enforcement agents.  They sound very official, even giving fake badge numbers, and the scam seems very real.  

The official sounding “U.S. Treasury Claim” is designed to frighten people into responding quickly when they are upset and not thinking clearly. In a recent phone call with a Yolo County resident, the scammer stated:

“The purpose of this call is regarding an enforcement action which has been executed by the U.S. Treasury Department regarding tax fraud and tax payment against your name. Ignoring this will be an intentional attempt to avoid initial appearance before a judge. This is a federal criminal offense. So before this matter goes to the federal claims courthouse we would like to clear this up immediately.”

As with most scams, the con artists are either trying to scare you into “wiring” money or going out to purchase reloadable prepaid cards. Scammers are also trying to get a hold of personal information like a Social Security or Credit Card number. The IRS will always send notification of any violations to you in writing via US mail. The IRS enforcement does not contact those who owe taxes over the phone and they never ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.

If you suspect a call like this is a scam:  1) Never provide any personal information and never “wire” money or purchase prepaid cards;   2) Verify the identity of the caller by requesting an employee identification number. Also, never hesitate to ask a trusted friend or advisor for help before responding to any such suspicious calls.

The complexity and frequency of these types of scams has been increasing dramatically over the last several months. Nobody is immune from being targeted by these persistent crooks. The best defense against becoming a victim of such a scam is knowledge and vigilance.

For more information on the U.S. Treasury fraud alert you can visit their website at http://1.usa.gov/1TZNrOK. You can also visit the IRS online at http://1.usa.gov/1TKqAtL regarding current tax scams. For more information on scams or to report suspected scams at please call 855-4-YOLO-DA or visit www.yoloda.org.

2016 Citizens Academy
On June 16, 2016, the Citizens Academy held its final session and graduation.  This year's 8-week academy ran from April 28th through June 16th. The academy is designed to involve diverse communities in participating in mutual learning about the criminal justice system, that includes an overview about how the different agencies work together to protect citizens and to bring justice to those harmed by crime.

As part of this year's academy, participants witnessed a live DUI trial and a Neighborhood Court conference. They heard from crime victim survivors, officials that specialize in combating gang violence,  and they observed a special session about Yolo County's K-9 officers, to name a few.  "The Citizens Academy was a great experience.  I learned more than I expected. Everybody should take this class," proclaimed one participant.  That sentiment was shared by many others.

If you are interested in participating in next year's academy, please contact Wendy Wilcox at wendy.wilcox@yolocounty.org. 
 
YCDA Workers Compensation Fraud Investigator
conducting investigations and making arrests. 
Workers' Comp
Fraud Prosecution
Across Four Counties

The Yolo County District Attorney's office is now prosecuting workers' compensation fraud across four counties. With a mission to identify and eliminate deceitful practices against consumers and businesses, the YCDA Workers' Compensation Fraud Unit also safeguards industry workers while seeking to increase the quality of life of all Yolo County residents. 

The District Attorney's Office believes in a fair market place. The cost of doing business is impacted by the cost of labor and the necessary insurance to cover employees in the event they are injured on the job. While Great strides have been made with recent workers' compensation reform, there are those who attempt to get benefits that they are not entitled to receive. 

There are three main types of workers' compensation fraud that the Fraud Unit investigates. First, there is provider fraud. Provider fraud occurs when a medical provider submits bills for services never rendered or embellishes the services actually performed. Second, there is claimant fraud. Claimant fraud occurs when an employee or employer lies to obtain workers' compensation benefits by lying about how an injury occurred or the employment status of the employee at the time of the injury. Third, there is premium fraud. Premium fraud occurs when an employer lies about their payroll, employees' classification and/or experience level for the purpose of lowering insurance premiums. 

If you are a resident of Yolo, Colusa, Sutter or Yuba County and you are concerned that someone is committing workers' compensation fraud, please call the District Attorney Workers' Compensation Fraud Hotline at (530)406-4524 or email fraud@yoloda.org.


Further Resources:
CA State Labor Commissioner's Office 
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse

Contractor's State License Board
http://www.cslb.ca.gov

Legal Interns

2016 Summer Session
 
Yolo County District Attorney has a very interactive legal intern program.  Our legal interns can expect to gain experience conducting research on complicated legal issues, writing motions, and, if certified, they can even argue the People's position in the courtroom.   Our interns are encouraged to observe ongoing trials and a plethora of different kinds of hearings, from the fast paced arraignment calendar to hearings where many different types of motions are argued, to gain an understanding about the everyday life of being a prosecutor.  

One intern described her time at our office like this: "I've had an amazing experience at the Yolo DA's office.  Everyone in the office is supportive and encouraging, the work is rewarding, and the learning experience is phenomenal.  Over the past two years I have completed a variety of assignments, including conducting preliminary hearings, suppression hearings, writing and arguing various pretrial motions, and writing appellate and habeas briefs."

Each year we give back to our interns by hosting several events in their honor.  Once per quarter we have either a pot-luck or an ice-cream social to thank them for their hard work. 

 
Tony Diaz Memorial Poker Run

The Tony Diaz Memorial Poker Run was established as a memorial and remembrance for Deputy Tony Diaz who lost his life in the line of duty.  
 
Tony Diaz was shot and killed while making a traffic stop near the intersection of County Road 6 and County Road 99W on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008.

Deputy Diaz had served with the Yolo County Sheriff's Department for four years. Tony’s nature was simple, caring, noble, determined, goofy, playful, friendly, and kind-hearted, with an endless supply of love for his children. Tony will always be remembered for his selflessness, courage, and passion for life.

To celebrate his life the Tony Diaz Memorial Poker Run was established and on Saturday, June 25, 2016, the 8th annual Poker Run was held. This event raises funds for the Deputy Tony Diaz Memorial Scholarship Award which is handed out annually. This award is given to individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in Law Enforcement or Public Safety. 
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