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Liquor official faces prison for public corruption

Public officials conduct inspections to ensure industries governed by California or federal laws are in compliance with those laws. Often, adherence to the regulations is a matter of public safety, and the oversight is an important factor in maintaining that level of safety. Unfortunately, some officials responsible for such oversight abuse their authority for their own gain. A conviction for some forms of public corruption may lead to a long prison term.

Recently, a public official and a private consultant pleaded guilty to charges of bribery. Reports say the two accepted money from local businesses in exchange for turning a blind eye to liquor law violations. Apparently, the consultant would meet with business owners who were in violation of the alcohol control standards. He allegedly relayed a list of violators to the official who worked at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and the official reportedly agreed to issue the non-compliant businesses temporary licenses in exchange for money.

What actions count as Medicare fraud?

A California doctor was convicted earlier this year for receiving illegal kickbacks for Medicare referrals. According to the United States Department of Justice, evidence showed that he and others referred Medicare patients to a California home health agency in exchange for kickback payments. Medicare paid about $4.1 million toward the claims that resulted from those referrals. The doctor will be sentenced for this crime in January.

The doctor’s actions are illegal based on the anti-kickback statute, which prohibits anyone knowingly and willingly offering, paying, soliciting or receiving direct or indirect payment for referrals for items or services provided by Medicare or other federal health care programs.

PTO treasurer charged with white collar crimes

Among the many expectations California parents may have is that the start of each school year brings a new round of fundraisers. Raising money for schools is essential since the cost of education continues to rise. Parent/Teacher Organizations may raise thousands of dollars for their schools, and occasionally, those entrusted with the accounting of the money face charges of white collar crimes.

Recently, a routine audit of a local school's PTO accounts revealed discrepancies that triggered an investigation. Members of the PTO contacted police when they concluded that someone had allegedly been taking money from the organization's accounts for most of 2017. After a nine-month investigation, police arrested the 35-year-old treasurer of the PTO.

Reality TV boxer risks complex civil litigation for quitting

Whether one is planning a wedding on a California beach or a multi-nation tour, the person in charge of the event must foresee any contingencies and meet the expectations and demands of all involved. However, an event promoter also relies on other parties to fulfill their sides of the agreements. When that does not happen, it may take complex civil litigation to resolve the matter fairly.

Promoter Damon Feldman, known for organizing celebrity boxing matches for charity, was only weeks away from a match involving "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham and "Flavor of Love" winner Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander when Abraham threatened to pull out of the match. The event was scheduled to raise awareness for anti-bullying causes. Abraham had been posting pictures on social media of her training.

Man claims politics is behind public corruption charges

For those who have the public's trust, a solid reputation is essential. Public support and confidence is required for those holding a public office, managing an organization's finances or making decisions that affect many people. Accusations of public corruption can quickly bring suspicion upon the actions of a trusted office holder. It is not uncommon for someone to face such accusations when an opponent seeks a political advantage.

Casting suspicion on a political opponent is not difficult, and one California man believes that this was the motivation behind the recent accusations against him. The business manager of a local high school faces allegations of misusing his position for personal gain based after an unknown informant reported to the school superintendent that the man had opened a bank account for the school in another state without proper approval from the school board. The man's wife is a candidate in the upcoming school board election.

White collar crimes: 1 accused of embezzling nearly $600,000

When company officials receive reports of missing funds, they may deploy a variety of tactics in identifying the cause of financial concerns. If employees have access to company funds, an investigation could leave officials pointing a finger of blame toward one or more parties. A man in California is reportedly under investigation for white collar crimes after he was accused of embezzling as much as $600,000 from a swim club.

According to reports, the man formerly held a position as both a coach and chief executive officer at the swim club. However, his position at the club was recently terminated after board members brought forth allegations that he had embezzled a substantial sum of money from the company. Board members reportedly contacted law enforcement agents and filed a report of the alleged act, and an investigation was initiated.

Bribery: What a California court must prove to convict you

Bribery constitutes a serious offense in California, and the punishments assigned to you by the court could prove detrimental both to your career and your livelihood. Those that request bribes or take bribes both commit offenses if used by or against an official individual. Because government and political employees hold themselves close to the law, bribes can ruin relationships with citizens and voters.

If a court has charged you with a bribery crime, you want to hire an experienced white-collar crime attorney. These attorneys have specific experience in defending these crimes and can accurately present evidence to help you avoid conviction and penalties. Know that if a court accuses you, however, it is California court’s responsibility to prove to a judge or jury that you knowingly committed bribery acts.

Mattress Firm faces complex civil litigation

In California and beyond, getting a good night's sleep is important. However, some former executives of Mattress Firm may not be sleeping very well lately. The company has filed a lawsuit against two men now under investigation for numerous claims of misconduct that left Mattress Firm floundering to remain solvent. The complex civil litigation involves lawsuits and countersuits as the parties point fingers at each other.

Mattress Firm claims its former executives accepted bribes from a real estate broker they convinced the company to hire. The company alleges that the broker owned numerous commercial properties that he arranged for Mattress Firm to lease at substantially more than the standard rate. The broker in cooperation with the executives apparently accepted watches, trips and cash in exchange for signing long leases with high rent for the broker's properties.

Entrepreneur faces accusations of white collar crimes

When someone is accused of a felony offense, especially one involving finances, it is possible the criminal counts will quickly begin to accumulate as investigators dig into the person's history. For example, charges of embezzlement can often go hand in hand with other white collar crimes, and the potential penalties can begin to mount. One California businessman is facing numerous charges related to several businesses in which he was an executive.

Following up on a complaint from a ready-to-hang wall art company, police began an investigation into the company's former executive vice president of licensing. The investigation led to accusations that the man embezzled over $2 million from the company, supposedly laundered almost $2 million and evaded tax obligations during the four years of his employment. The inquiry took place between June and August, and police arrested the man last week.

Congressman faces charges of public corruption

Part of a politician's job is earning the trust of the constituents. This is often a challenge, especially when working against the tactics of the opponent and the zeal of the press. During an election, it seems as if every moment of a politician's life is under a microscope. That is not always bad since citizens who contribute to political campaigns have a right to know how their candidates are spending the money. Otherwise, there may be investigations into public corruption.

California congressman Duncan Hunter is currently facing these kinds of accusations. Recently, a grand jury handed down an indictment against Hunter and his wife for improper use of campaign funds. The media reported that the congressman and his wife spent over $250,000 in donations for their personal use, including groceries, overseas vacations and private school tuition. The investigation apparently revealed that the couple lived beyond their means and altered the finance records for the campaign to cover their unauthorized spending.

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