Rebecca is a highly experienced attorney specializing in government investigations, internal investigations, and complex civil and criminal matters at all levels in federal and state court. Spanning over two decades, Rebecca’s practice is a hybrid of civil and criminal.
Rebecca has represented companies, public entities, non-profits, and individuals in criminal and civil investigations conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the California Attorney General, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, County of San Diego, and San Diego District Attorney. These investigations have covered topics ranging from fraud, false claims, anti-kickback, to public integrity. For example, she assisted the California Public Utilities Commission in investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General regarding allegations of undue influence over the Commission by utility companies. She represented the former Mayor of San Diego and the President of the City Council in an SEC investigation and as witnesses in criminal and civil cases pending in state and federal court concerning retiree benefits, the funding of the city’s pension fund, municipal law and bond offering disclosures. She recently assisted a non-profit in an investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office concerning raffles.
Rebecca also assists companies, public entities, and non-profits with internal investigations. She assisted the board of trustees of large public entity regarding allegations of financial improprieties and harassment by its CEO, who resigned following the investigation. On behalf of a board special committee of popular startup company, she conducted an investigation concerning investor disclosure and government compliance issues. Rebecca assisted a large public school district with an internal investigation regarding allegations of improper fundraising and false claims. She also ran an internal investigation for a nonprofit mental health government contractor regarding allegations of executive financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
Rebecca also frequently represents companies and individuals in civil litigation and administrative proceedings. She recently retained a temporary restraining order against a major public entity enjoining administrative proceedings against her clients. Rebecca assisted individual administrators of a renown private school in high profile negligence cases concerning allegations of child abuse by former teacher of the school. In multifaceted litigation concerning lease to own agreements for 101 Ash / Civic Plaza Center and conflicts of interest violations, she represented the former Chief Operating Officer of the City of San Diego. She also represented a family trust in bankruptcy proceedings initiated by Russian oil tycoons to force sale of valuable real estate co-owned in the United States.
Rebecca also served as defense counsel in the leading criminal tax case “In re M.H.” She drafted briefs submitted to Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court on the novel issue of whether the target of a criminal investigation can be compelled to produce foreign bank account records under the Required Records Exception in violation of his Fifth Amendment Right. She co-wrote the brief with American legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky. In other criminal proceedings, Rebecca represented an individual accused of improperly lobbying city officials and won a highly publicized motion disqualifying the prosecuting City Attorney. Rebecca has also assisted victims with recovering restitution, including a Native American Tribe which was defrauded by its fiduciaries.
Rebecca clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California in 2003-2004 and was identified as a San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2015. She is a co-presenter of the CLE Presentation “What to do When the Government Knocks on Your Door.”
Government Enforcement and Internal Investigations Experience
- The California Public Utilities Commission in investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General regarding published allegations of undue influence over the Commission by utility companies. Representation included the compilation, review and production of millions of documents to government authorities in response to numerous grand jury subpoenas and search warrants.
- Former Mayor of San Diego and the President of the City Council in an SEC investigation and as witnesses in criminal and civil cases pending in state and federal court. Issues concerned retiree benefits, the funding of the city’s pension fund, municipal law and bond offering disclosures.
- Internal investigation by board of trustees of large public entity regarding allegations of financial improprieties and harassment by CEO, who resigned following investigation.
- San Diego non-profit in California Attorney General investigation.
- Internal investigation by special committee of board of directors of popular startup company concerning investor disclosure and government compliance issues.
- Internal investigation ordered by special committee of board of directors of nonprofit mental health government contractor regarding allegations of executive financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest. Also represented nonprofit in investigations by County of San Diego concerning False Claims and San Diego District Attorney and in related civil litigation.
- Former executive of investment advisory firm in SEC investigation regarding incubator fees charged to start-up companies. SEC declined to bring any charges against client.
- Internal investigation on behalf of the board of trustees of the San Diego Unified School District regarding allegations against its president of improper fundraising and the filing of an allegedly false claim.
- Mobile entertainment company in an investigation by the National Association of Securities Dealers. No charges were brought.
- Company which manufactured ATM and vending machines in SEC investigation
- Insurance brokers, targets of an SEC enforcement action, concerning the sale of variable annuities, with indemnification and insurance issues.
- Internal investigation of a large financial institution’s loan modification program.
- Internal investigation of stock option backdating on behalf of a U.S. corporation.
- Internal investigation of a mobile entertainment company concerning insider trading and assisted with civil and SEC enforcement proceedings.
- Company executive in stock options backdating internal investigation.
- Internal investigation concerning a wrongful death on behalf of a sorority.
- Internal investigation on behalf of a privately held company concerning improper conduct by company executive.
Multifaceted Criminal Experience
- Defense counsel in leading criminal tax case “In re M.H.”
- Represented Native American Tribe, the victim, in a federal fraud case and restitution proceedings against the Tribe’s former fiduciaries, who pled guilty.
- Represented company executive accused by the City Attorney of improperly lobbying city officials and won a highly publicized motion to disqualify the City Attorney. The court thereafter dismissed all charges.
- Obtained a substantial restitution award in criminal proceedings for a privately held company which was the victim of an employee embezzlement scheme that caused the company to incur substantial tax penalties and interest. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the award.
- Represented witness employees of a large financial institution in grand jury proceedings concerning telemarketing and bank fraud.
- Representation of former Chief Operating Officer of the City of San Diego in multifaceted litigation concerning lease to own agreements for 101 Ash / Civic Plaza Center and conflicts of interest violations.
- Represented individual administrators of renowned private school in high profile negligence cases concerning allegations of child abuse by former teacher of the school. Obtained favorable settlement.
- Defended Las Vegas hotel and resort in third party beneficiary breach of contract, tort, and consumer fraud litigation. Brought successful summary judgment which disposed of entire case.
- Obtained temporary restraining order after filing a writ of mandate against major public entity enjoining administrative proceedings against clients. The matter thereafter settled on highly favorable terms.
- Successfully tried asylum case for refugee who was politically persecuted by the Nicaraguan government. Court granted asylum and government waived right to appeal.
- Defended company in securities class actions filed in California and Nevada. Ran large discovery team which reviewed and produced tens of thousands of documents on a highly expedited basis. Defeated a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin a merger.
- Defended a privately held company in a shareholder derivative lawsuit. Settled quickly without filing any motions for nuisance value with carrier coverage.
- Defended newspaper in intentional interference with contract/ unfair competition lawsuit concerning the development of a comic strip. Obtained favorable settlement.
- Defended Native American Tribe in construction defect lawsuit. Assisted Native American Tribe in obtaining insurance coverage. Obtained favorable settlement.
- Represented a priest, a beneficiary, in criminal and probate proceedings against the decedent’s caretaker who was charged with elder abuse. Case settled and beneficiary received the full amount of the original inheritance.
- Defended individuals after interplead assets were frozen. Obtained highly favorable settlement for client.
- Defended developer in CEQA lawsuit. Defeated two temporary restraining orders and obtained highly favorable settlement.
- Defended environmental consulting firm in personal injury action. Brought successful summary judgment motion which dismissed client.
- Advised clients regarding the applicability of municipal and state conflicts of interest laws.
- Represented company plaintiff in a RICO and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against former employees.
- Represented company plaintiff in patent infringement action concerning fingernail laminates. Effectively shut down infringer by cease and desist campaign targeting nail techs.
- Identified infringer for marketing company and represented company as plaintiff in copyright action filed in Western District of Texas. Case ended with favorable settlement.
- Brought successful motion to dismiss patent action pending in Delaware for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and venue on behalf of a technology company.
- Represented defendant technology company in a patent infringement action, identified experts and assisted with damages analysis.
- Brought successful motion to set aside entry of default against developer in a contract dispute.
- Pro Bono Publico La Mancha Awardee, Casa Cornelia, 2019
- San Diego Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2015
- Co-presenter, What to do When the Government Knocks on Your Door, January 2020 and Spring 2023.
- “Reach of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Exceeds Grasp,” Executive Counsel, March 1, 2008
- Enfoque Latino (fall issue), December 1, 2008