As shown by this month’s headlines, California seems to be plagued with fraud issues on the government level. Most of the fraud is allegedly being committed by government workers. The California Department of Insurance awarded $34.95 million in grants to district attorney offices across the state to help fight workers’ compensation insurance fraud. The grants were funded by employer fees and will be used to pay enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute fraud workers’ compensation system during fiscal year 2015-2016.
While the Department of Insurance was dealing with its own problems, it was discovered that California DMV workers traded cash for illegal licenses. At least 100 commercial truck drivers bribed DMV workers at $5,000/piece for trucking licenses. From 2011 to 2015, employees allegedly changed computer records to show that truck drivers passed their behind-the-wheel tests when they did not. Officials said up to 23 traffic accidents could be related to the fraud.
Fraud in California
Under the common law, fraud is generally defined as an intentional misrepresentation of existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage.
Generally, you violate California’s criminal fraud statutes whenever you commit an act that results in an unfair or undeserved benefit for yourself, and/or cause harm or loss to another person. The California Penal Code addresses many types of fraud:
- Car insurance fraud
- Health insurance fraud
- Unemployment insurance fraud
- Welfare fraud
- Worker’s compensation fraud
- Check, credit card, and securities fraud (the 3 types of financial fraud)
- Forgery and identity theft
- Mail fraud
- Check fraud (writing bad checks)
- Foreclosure and real estate fraud
The penalties for each individual type of fraud differ. For example, workers compensation fraud can be punished by two to five years imprisonment and a $150,000 fine. Fraud can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Prosecutors typically decide this based on the amount of money involved and any prior convictions on one’s record.
San Diego Fraud Defense Attorney
If you are facing insurance fraud charges or were arrested or are under investigation for this offense, it is crucial to work with an attorney who is qualified to handle these complex types of cases. Fraud is a very serious crime in California and can result in the imposition of severe legal consequences, such as federal and state level charges, a permanent criminal record, jail time, damage to one’s personal and professional reputations, and harsh monetary fines. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has handled all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including white collar crime, embezzlement, theft, and insurance fraud. We are licensed to practice in federal court and state court and can represent you in your white collar crime case during the entire process. Contact our office today and ask for a free, confidential consultation to see how we may be able to put our experience to use to help you.