Senate banking panel OKs plan to speed up payments to victims of corporate fraud

April 11, 2012
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Sen. Ted W. Lieu bill prompted by paperwork nightmare
SACRAMENTO – A key fiscal-review panel today on a bipartisan 6-0 vote approved a plan by Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance to help speed up state payments to victims of corporate fraud.

“Since 2002, California’s fraud-compensation fund has raised nearly $15 million to help compensate those who have been taken advantage of or swindled by smooth-talking hustlers,” Lieu said about Senate Bill 1058 after it was approved by the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. “In those 10 years, however, only seven victims have been paid a total of $112,000.”

Victims have had trouble receiving payments because the enforcement language of the 2002 fraud-compensation law was riddled with red tape that led to unnecessary paperwork hurdles and stalling tactics, Lieu said. “Despite winning their court decision, these victims essentially had to re-litigate their case,” he added.

As drafted, SB 1058 would do the following:
• Pay victims the restitution they deserve within 90 days.
• Increase maximum restitution payments from $20,000 to $50,000 per victim.
• Stop allowing guilty corporations from contesting payments and blocking appeals.
• Expand judgments beyond California.
• Allow the court's judgment to stand as proof the victim deserves payment.
“The bottom-line goal of SB 1058 is to revamp the existing fraud-compensation structure, gut red tape and ensure speedy financial help, if not recovery, for those who deserve it the most,” Lieu said.

For more, including a Fact Sheet and Op-Ed on SB 1058, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below or contact Lieu’s office.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu