Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

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The only surefire way to avoid a conviction on DUI in Los Angeles is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or using drugs. But if you’ve made an error in judgment, and the police arrest you on a DUI charge, your best option is to work with an attorney well versed in these laws who can help ensure that your rights are protected during the judicial process. What we don’t recommend is getting your ticket fixed by a clerk of the court.jose-lopez-los-angeles-DUI-defense

In California, Jose Lopez Jr., a clerk in the Orange County Superior Court, is facing federal charges for allegedly running a network that fixed the tickets of more than 1,000 people charged with various traffic offenses, including DUI. According to a story in the Orange County Register, Lopez had 11 “recruiters” who would go to car and truck clubs and post notices on Craigslist to let drivers know that traffic tickets could be tweaked in their favor in the Superior Court.

Lopez charged drivers up to $8,000 to put in the fix. He would change computer records so it would appear that a defendant convicted of a traffic violation had paid the required fines, had spent the mandated time in jail or had performed court-ordered community service. For a driver convicted of DUI, Lopez would edit the court record to show that he/she had pleaded guilty to reckless driving, which is a lesser charge.
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Whether you’re a doctor, chiropractor or dentist accused of Medicare or insurance fraud in Beverly Hills – or a concerned citizen who’s tired of the system’s wastes and unfairness – check this out!senior-citizen-medicare-fraud-patrol.jpg

The federal government loses approximately $60 billion a year, due to waste and fraud in the Medicare system. The Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. “Obamacare” — aims to tackle some of this fraud by turning beneficiaries into “fraud fighters.” Approximately 50 million people use the health insurance program to pay bills, buy medicines and deal with their health issues.

Unfortunately, many beneficiaries are sick, undereducated, or otherwise “mentally foggy” – they may be unable to recognize or report fraud or waste.

To empower these seniors, Medicare will provide larger, easier to read Medicare summary notices as well as easy ways to report any suspicious activity – such as the 1-800 Medicare Hotline and the website

Authorities recommend that seniors pay close attention, if they spot unfamiliar provider names or get billed for office visits that they didn’t go to.

When a Medicare beneficiary discovers a problem, he or she should call the healthcare provider, who should then report it to Medicare, if the discrepancy can’t be explained. This simple system has helped the government recover nearly $15 billion in the past few years. The Senior Medicare Patrol — a volunteer group of around 5,000 people — helps seniors understand their benefits and avoid fraud.

Unfortunately, well meaning providers can easily get caught up in this dragnet and wind up facing devastating charges, like Beverly Hills Medicare fraud or Beverly Hills insurance fraud. These can lead to criminal penalties as well as to license suspension. As a national program manager for Senior Medicare Patrol, Rebecca Kinney, put it: “Most [cases] are mistakes or misunderstandings. Very rarely do we come across something that looks like fraud.”

If you stand falsely accused of Southern California Medicare fraud – or if you did do something wrong, and you’re not sure what to do next — trust the experienced, compassionate, and results-driven team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to provide insight and advice. Call attorney Kraut today to schedule a free consultation and begin the process of clearing your name.

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Ever since Federal investigators got on your case (and potentially even charged you) for healthcare fraud in Los Angeles, news commentators and observers have been calling you things like “mastermind” and “criminal conspirator.” You certainly don’t think of yourself in those terms. In fact, you’re feeling pretty scared, bewildered, and out of control right now – anything but the master of your mind.why-los-angeles-health-care-fraud.jpg

This lack of clarity and sense of dis-ease can cause problems for your defense. To the degree that you are unclear about what you did, what charges you face, and what you can do to respond is the degree that you’ll feel out of control.

There are two main tools that you can use to regain a coherent perspective.

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Maybe you stole some costume jewelry and brooches from a Venice Beach bodega. Or perhaps your Los Angeles petty theft charge came packaged with additional charges, like grand theft, robbery, assault, etc.

In any case, you want to avoid serious punishment and “put the crime behind you.” But you’re also “not that concerned,” on some level, since your crime is relatively minor.

But you should be concerned!

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On April 24, 2013, the Obama Administration announced a spectacular new “Senior Reward” program, which could spur many new additional Southern California Medicare fraud cases. senior-los-angeles-medicare-fraud.jpg

The so-called Senior Medicare Patrol would offer whistleblowers up to $10 million for exposing fraud. The whistleblower would get 15% of the recovered funds. This is a huge change to the current HHS model, which offers a 10% reward of up to $1,000. The revised program is modeled after an IRS program, which has helped that agency collect nearly $2 billion in fraud over the past 10 years.

Since 1997, the Senior Medicare Patrol has generated 7,000 plus referrals to the Office of the Inspector General and the CMS. In just the last three years alone, the Obama Administration has cracked down hard and managed to re-collect nearly $15 billion stolen from Medicare’s coffers. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, stated the President’s intentions in clear language: “President Obama has made the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse, particularly in healthcare, a top priority for the administration.”

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Maybe you concocted a sophisticated Los Angeles Medicare fraud scheme that raided the Federal Government’s coffers to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars. Or maybe you’re being investigated for failing to meet a Byzantine health care requirement. do-dont-los-angeles-medicare-fraud.jpg

Before taking action, read this list of five “don’ts,” so you can avoid making further mistakes that could imperil your case and lead to unnecessarily long jail sentences, the stripping of your professional license, humiliation, massive fines, and worse.

5 “Don’ts”

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A new study shows that the federal government’s vigorous campaign against Medicare fraud in Los Angeles and beyond is paying off — big time. medicare-fraud-los-angeles-dermotologist.jpg

Over the last three years, the government has returned $7.90 for every $1 invested into the anti-fraud mission. This marks the highest ever return for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program, a nearly two decade old program, and federal officials are crowing about the numbers. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health & Human Services, said “our historic effort to take on the criminals who steal from Medicare and Medicaid is paying off. We are gaining the upper hand in our fight against healthcare fraud.”

The antifraud initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Justice and HHS. The Obama administration has lent lots of help to soup up this program and deliver more results. Over the past four years, federal officials recovered nearly $15 billion from scam artists, executives, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, vendors, and others who masterminded or acted complicit with fraudulent schemes. That’s nearly double the amount recovered over the previous four-year period.

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A raid on the clinic of Dr. Salomon Melgen — the culmination of a long Medicare fraud investigation — has roiled the political world. Melgen-los-angeles-health-care-fraud.jpg

Dr. Melgen is a close friend of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who flew on the eye doctor’s private jet to the Dominican Republic on three separate occasions. Those acts earned Menendez a slap on the wrist from the Senate Ethics Committee. (Menendez responded by reimbursing the doctor $50,000 for the trips.)

A right wing website, The Daily Caller, has accused Menendez of having relationships with under-aged prostitutes during those trips to the Dominican Republic, allegations the senator strongly denies. According to a spokesperson for his office “all those allegations… of engaging in prostitution are absolutely false… Senator [Menendez] has known Melgen for years, and his travel on Melgen’s plane on three occasions has been reported and reimbursed required by the rules.”

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The Federal Government, under the Obama administration, has made a huge push to crack down on Medicare fraud in Los Angeles and beyond.medicare-fraud-prevention-system.jpg

We’ve covered many relevant stories over the past few years, citing probably dozens of examples of big time busts. We’ve also discussed some of the scary consequences for the perpetrators of these alleged offenses. The typical way the government goes after fraud is known as “pay and chase.” Investigators try to identify fraudulent payments from the system, track down the pilfered money, and then punish perpetrators and force restitution, if possible.

This way of preventing fraud is somewhat wasteful, and it is certainly very punitive.

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Have you committed tax fraud or identify theft in Los Angeles?los-angeles-tax-fraud.jpg

If so, the federal government may be heading your way – if they aren’t there already.

The Feds are outraged at a recent rash of tax fraud cases that, quite frankly, do boggle the mind. According to Sun Sentinel report, several homes in Florida filed hundreds of tax returns each. For instance, a home near Lake Okeechobee filed 741 tax returns, which netted over $1 million in refunds. An Orlando postbox apparently received nearly $1.1 million based on over 700 fraudulent returns filed. Another home in Tampa sent out 515 fraudulent returns and raked in nearly $2 million from the federal government.

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