The Kaufman Law Group

Los Angeles Legal Blog

Car insurance claim leads to charges for white collar crimes

Many people struggle with financial-related issues. As a result, they often explore many ways in which they could potentially obtain money quickly. Unfortunately, some parties may wind up accused of white collar crimes if the options they utilize involve some type of fraudulent actions.

One woman in California has recently found herself facing such an ordeal. According to reports, the woman had allegedly filed an insurance claim after having a car accident. However, she reportedly did not obtain the insurance coverage until after the accident had already happened. Due to filing the claim for a prior accident, the woman was accused of automobile insurance fraud. Authorities issued a felony warrant for her arrest.

Embezzlement and white collar crimes lead to serious consequences

Not all crime involves violence or the attempt of causing physical harm to another person. White collar crimes are serious criminal accusations that lead to detrimental, life-altering consequences, and this includes the crime of embezzlement. Recently in California, a treasurer for a business organization was charged with various financial crimes, including embezzling funds.

The accused served as the treasurer for the International Association of Machinists Local Lodge 2947. He handled all of the funds for the group, and he is accused of taking funds from the group amounting to almost $51,000. He is also facing charges of identity theft. These charges stem from the allegation that he forged the name of the group's president to take money.

White collar crimes: California woman accused of embezzlement

Any type of criminal accusation can leave a person reeling. Individuals may believe that life is going well and that they are on the right track only to be blindsided by accusations of white collar crimes. From fraud to embezzlement and many other actions in between, charges for such crimes can come with steep penalties if convictions occur.

It was recently reported that one woman in California turned herself in to authorities in relation to an embezzlement investigation. Apparently, the management team at the bank where the woman worked found unspecified evidence that pointed to internal embezzlement. The management team gave that information to the police, and authorities began to conduct an investigation. The fraudulent transactions had purportedly been taking place since 2017.

January arrest prompted by suspicion of white collar crimes

In California and across the country, many people consider themselves beer connoisseurs. In fact, an organization in another state was formed so that members could promote local beers and exchange knowledge and opinions with one another. A former director of that organization was arrested in January and is being charged with white collar crimes regarding alleged illicit use of the organization's funds.

The woman is accused of using a credit card in the organization's name without permission. Prosecutors claim she illegally made $500 worth of purchases with the card. The 42-year-old is charged with embezzlement and credit card fraud.

What is an embezzlement charge and how do you fight it?

Recent research shows embezzlement costs U.S. businesses as much as $50 billion each year. With so much money going out the door, it’s no wonder security and anti-theft schemes are big business for wary corporations.

Unfortunately, the additional security means honest people can get caught up in embezzlement charges. If that should happen to you, it’s important you know about embezzlement and how to fight the charges.

Accusations of public corruption seem common these days

The current political climate throughout the country, including here in California, leaves a lot of people vulnerable to unwarranted accusations. The public tends to scrutinize its leaders and authority figures, but lately, that watchful eye comes with often diametrically opposed opinions. Those who spend their lives in the service of others could also spend some of that time facing charges of public corruption.

Not surprisingly, one of the most often seen accusations revolves around money. Some government officials and public figures are said to misuse funds at their disposal. Other allegations concern using public funds to line their own coffers. These claims could also include other charges such as bribery, violations of the RICO Act or fraud. In any case, these types of claims could result in charges for theft or embezzlement.

Mules become targets for investigators of white collar crimes

It seems that not only is the number of fraud victims growing in California and beyond, but investigators are building cases that are more sophisticated, elaborate and often involve many more people. The use of technology to contact unsuspecting victims includes stealing their identity or hacking their contacts to fool them into thinking they are receiving correspondence from someone they know. In this way, the victims become part of white collar crimes and may even become suspects in FBI investigations.

Fraudsters use unwitting victims called mules in money laundering schemes. There are many methods, but in general, the schemes involve the mule allowing the fraudsters to transfer large amounts of money into his or her account, then sending small increments over time to a third account. The fraudsters may pose as a business associate asking for payment, an online acquaintance or a family member in need of money. They may offer the mule a percentage of the money in exchange for his or her help.

Residents begin complex civil litigation against PG&E

Wildfires are not new to California. However, recent fires cost more lives and property than any in history, leaving dozens dead and hundreds of thousands of acres scorched. While investigators are still working to narrow down the cause of the blaze, some residents have already begun a complex civil litigation holding PG&E Corp. liable for the destruction.

The residents who watched their homes burn to the ground and some who lost friends and relatives claim the power company spent more money on public relations and advertising than it did ensuring the safe operation of its equipment. In the past several years, PG&E equipment was linked to numerous blazes. While the company promises to assess the damages and address safety concerns, the lawsuit claims PG&E has spent $37 million dollars in advertising to restore its image following the previous fires.

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.

The Kaufman Law Group
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Los Angeles, CA 90067

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