Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

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If you or a loved one has been arrested for Los Angeles Medicare or Medical fraud, odds are that what you did (or allegedly did) pales in comparison to what four Pennsylvania men have been accused of doing. Last week, Ross Rabelow, Thomas Muldoon, Bruce Cherry, and Robert Lerner were hit with multiple criminal charges pursuant to accusations that they victimised 218 Pennsylvania seniors. Prosecutors allege that many of the victims lived alone and were very elderly – 83-years old was the average age. The Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section and Elder Abuse Unit called the scheme “Operation False Comfort,” and investigators painted a vivid and disturbing picture about what went on:los-angeles-medical-senior-fraud.jpg

• Seniors were often encouraged to cancel actual insurance policies to purchase bogus long-term healthcare;

• More than two-thirds of all the checks written to American Comfort (one of the defendant’s companies) were used to pay salespeople and the owners, while only 3% of the company’s money was used to provide services;

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If you are a parent of a teenager or young man or woman who was recently arrested on charges of Los Angeles petty theft crime, you are probably sad, depressed, and anxious about your child’s future. shoplifting-in-los-angeles-penalties.jpg

What caring parent wouldn’t be?

The state of California considers both petty theft and shoplifting to be serious crimes. Individuals convicted on two separate occasions for petty theft can be actually slapped with a felony charge and compelled to spend over a year behind bars!

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With the Obama administration cracking down hard, nationwide, on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, analysts expect that many more doctors, chiropractors, and other caregivers in Los Angeles will be arrested and charged with Southern California healthcare fraud. If you or a family member has come under investigation for fraud, you need to act decisively, legally, and quickly to protect your rights and minimize the potential damage to your career, assets, and freedom.medical-fraud-southern-california.jpg

Individuals convicted of Southern California healthcare billing fraud can be slapped with charges pursuant to Insurance Code Section 1871.4, Penal Code Section 550, Penal Code Section 118(for perjury), and Labor Code Section 3700 (if you’re an employer who committed healthcare fraud). Depending on the nature and extent of the alleged misconduct, you could lose your license to practice, face jail time and massive fines, and see the destruction of your professional reputation and your ability to earn in the future. Given what’s at stake, you probably want to know what might constitute this crime. Here are two examples:

1. Creating false medical records and billing insurance carriers or Medicaid or MediCal for services that you never rendered (or that you described in a very overinflated way).

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Getting stopped and charged with a crime like Long Beach DUI can be a harrowing ordeal. Even if you didn’t cause injuries or property damage — and even if the evidence ultimately exonerates you — damage has been done. feelings-about-long-beach-dui.jpg

The problem goes beyond fear of the punishments and penalties – jail time, massive fines, huge spikes on your insurance rates, etc. It even goes beyond the more subtle “penalties” — loss of respect from peers and family, logistical problems stemming from loss of your driver’s license, fears about your own judgment and maturity, etc.

Sure, all those things matter. But there is another root problem that’s causing stress.

Here it is: You are attuned to hearing the judgments, guilt, name calling, and diagnoses of others – you accept these labels as “facts” about you.

Before we discuss this in detail, keep in mind that, as any Los Angeles DUI attorney will tell you, if you did drive under the influence in Long Beach, you have problems and obstacles in your path, and you need to approach them correctly and strategically.

On the other hand, it might be helpful to start to translate the judgments and labels of others into what famous psychologist Dr. Marshall Rosenberg termed “feelings and needs.” Often, when people in our lives judge us or call us names, what they are really doing is expressing anger or frustration at their needs not being met.

For instance, say you told your aunt Suzie that you got tagged for driving under the influence in Long Beach. She snaps back something along the lines of “I always knew you’d be a failure” or something similarly hurtful. Now, you can hear her judgment as “the truth.” Or you can look deeper inside it and try to hear her pain and needs. For instance, why might she be in pain? Why might her hearing the news of your DUI spark that anger and judgment? Perhaps she recently had a scary encounter on the roads, and she needs safety. Perhaps she recently learned lost a friend in a DUI accident similar to yours, and she is furious and deeply sad about that.

When you start to listen to her and connect with her on this level, statements as judgmental as “you are the worst person in the world” become translated into things like “I am furious because I really need safety” or “I am enraged and depressed because I recently lost my friend to a DUI driver.” It’s very difficult at first for us to listen to people’s anger and judgments and translate them this way – it takes a ton of practice. But if you’ve recently been insulted or guilted or judged for your DUI, you might find it useful to sit down and really introspect on what that person what was feeling and needing and why.

This is important not just because it helps you humanize the other person but also because it frees you from internal judgments, which can perpetuate negative cycles. If you hear and believe judgments like “you are a criminal who will never get better,” you can internalize that message and act it out. If, on other hand, you hear the feelings and needs behind these criticisms, you may be inspired to grow and change and work to serve life.

As your Los Angeles DUI attorney will tell you, the challenges of being a defendant are immense. But opportunities for learning and growth are there, too. Connect today with the team at the Kraut Law Group in Long Beach for an experienced and confidential consultation. Attorney Michael Kraut of Long Beach’s Kraut Law Group (444 West Ocean, Suite 800 Long Beach, California 90802 Phone: (562) 531-7454 ) is a widely respected and highly successful Harvard Law School educated Long Beach DUI criminal defense attorney.

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In 2008, the Federal Government recouped $2.14 billion from people who committed Southern California Medi-Cal fraud and other similar crimes across the nation. Last year, thanks to a dedicated effort inside the Obama Administration, the Federal Government recouped $4.1 billion — nearly double the 2008 amount. The number of people charged with fraud across the U.S. also bumped up 75% over the 2008 numbers.southern-california-medicare_fraud_penalties.jpg

Unsurprisingly, the Obama Administration has been celebrating. Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Service Secretary, blogged about the report: “The Obama Administration is doing more to stop fraud before it happens… Department of Justice officials are tracking fraud scams as they move across the country, so that criminals are spotted when they try to re-enroll into Medicare or Medicaid.”

Good news for tax payers – but what if you’ve been caught up in the dragnet and charged with Southern California Medicare fraud?

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Home Improvement star Taran Noah Smith’s driving record may need improvement; the 27-year old actor was stopped last Tuesday for driving under the influence in Burbank. taran-noah-smith-burbank-dui.jpg

According to news reports, police pulled Smith over near Third Street and Burbank Boulevard early Tuesday morning. The Burbank Leader reports that Smith’s car had been parked, but the vehicle was still running. Police smelled marijuana around the vicinity and found what they believed to drugs in Smith’s 1998 Honda Accord. After being arrested for driving under the influence in Burbank, Smith was booked into a Glendale jail and held on a bail of $10,000. His court date is set for March 1.

Smith is probably best known for his role as the youngest child on Tim Allen’s Home Improvement, which ran from 1991 to 1997. He got his start as a child actor young – at age seven.

Smith’s Burbank DUI arrest highlights several important factors:

• Being a celebrity does not immunize you from getting arrested for marijuana or alcohol-related Burbank DUI. The law is the law, no matter what your station in life or level of celebrity;
• You can still be arrested for Burbank DUI, even if your vehicle is not actively being driven on the road. Consider Smith’s situation – his vehicle was stopped when the police found him (although the motor was running);
• Early mornings and weekend nights are particularly dangerous times for drivers, since the average car is more likely to be driven by someone who is Burbank DUI. This is just pure statistics. People party and/or drink on the weekends and evenings. So if you want to avoid drivers who might be under the influence in Burbank or elsewhere in Southern California, avoid driving during these dangerous times – late at night, Friday and Saturday nights, and national holidays.

How might the arrest redound for Smith’s career? Likely, that question is low on his list of priorities. In fact, a Burbank DUI charge – even a relatively minor one that does not involve injuries or damage – can lead to a cavalcade of penalties, such as not insignificant jail time, California license suspension, mandatory alcohol education classes, forced installation of an IID device in your vehicle (which means you cannot drive unless you blow a sober breath into a machine), annoying court costs and fines, and so forth.

And let’s not forget the indirect costs of Burbank DUI! These can include huge insurance-related problems (which in and of themselves can cost you thousands of dollars over several years) and damage to your professional and personal reputation.

As an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer will tell you, it’s no fun to face these charges.

The silver lining (if there is one) is that you do not have to fight this battle on your own. Help and resources abound, if you’re willing to do research, accept strategic guidance, and take responsibility for what’s happened to you. A Los Angeles DUI attorney at the Kraut Law Group can help you make significant progress towards restoring your reputation, blunting the charges against you, and developing a strategic battle plan not just to move beyond this one event but also to get the help and support you need to get your life back on track.

Attorney Kraut is a vastly experienced, highly reputable and compassionate Burbank DUI criminal offense attorney (2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, California 91505 Phone: (818) 563-9810). He also has unique experience, in that he has played for “both sides” – prosecutor and defense attorney. He can leverage his first-hand experience as a prosecutor to help you understand what prosecutors will be planning.

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Those who drive under the influence in Long Beach and cause injury accidents are often ignorant of the law or of the consequences of their actions. tony-logan-dui-long-beach.jpg

Or, at least, the conventional wisdom would have you believe that.

As we have covered countless times on this Long Beach DUI blog, all sorts of people are stopped, arrested, and ultimately convicted for DUI – some of whom even make and enforce the DUI laws. When lawmakers, police officers, prosecutors, and others who work in the Long Beach DUI system are tagged for such crimes, a big hubbub in the media and blogosphere inevitably sparks. Makes sense, right? After all, police officers, Congressmen, Los Angeles DUI attorneys, etc understand the dangers better than practically anybody out there.

That’s why a recent fiasco out of Etowah County, Alabama, has attracted so much head-scratching among Los Angeles DUI lawyers.

According to WHNT News 19, the police chief of Tuscumbia, AL, Tony Logan, was convicted by jury last week of misdemeanor DUI. Logan was sentenced to 30 days, and his driver’s license might be suspended. But his punishment is less interesting than the fact that he was not just a police officer, but the chief of police for a whole town.

Brandon Hughes, a local prosecutor, summed up the jury’s message: “Drinking and driving on Alabama’s roadways is not going to be tolerated. I just hope it sends a message to folks around the state…to be more careful…there are repercussions [for driving DUI].”

Is there any moral to this story? Can we learn anything from Tony Logan’s experience?

Indeed, we can.

Logan’s arrest and subsequent conviction demonstrates how easy it is easy for anyone — even a super-educated Los Angeles DUI lawyer who understands the dangers of driving under the influence on a very personal level and who works with DUI cases on a day-to-day basis — can make errors of judgment that lead to arrests, accidents, and worse.

Of course, this is not to excuse bad behavior or DUI – it is merely to place it in context. If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Long Beach or for engaging in other misbehavior behind the wheel, you are not alone. The transgression doesn’t make you a bad person, or even a bad driver. (It does, however, mean that you might need a Los Angeles DUI attorney.)

Going forward, keep the following in mind:

1. Learn from your mistakes, if you made any, to avoid getting into similar trouble.

To do this, you need to reflect on what happened: what caused you to misbehave or ignore the Long Beach DUI laws?

2. Deal with the reality of your arrest and charges.

A Long Beach DUI criminal defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group (444 West Ocean, Suite 800 Long Beach, California 90802 Phone: (562) 531-7454 ) will help you plan the next steps. Attorney Kraut is one of the most respected local DUI attorneys – he has a great reputation among his legal peers, a nearly immaculate record at jury trials, and he draws on his Harvard Law School education and background as a former Deputy District Attorney (14+ years) to deliver superlative service for his clients.
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On this blog, we talk a lot about why doctors, chiropractors, dentists, and others commit Los Angeles Medicare fraud. What drives them, psychologically, socially, and societally?los-angeles-southern-ca-fraud.jpg

We also talk about what these defendants should do, how to grapple with the situation, etc. But let’s take time to change perspective and consider the role of family members. If you are the spouse or child of someone charged with any Southern California white crime, such as credit card fraud, insurance fraud, identity theft, etc., you may feel mixed emotions about what’s going on.

• On the one hand, perhaps you are shocked by the news of the arrest or investigation – you had no idea.

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Practically no one intends to drive under the influence in Glendale. Misjudgments, carelessness, and other factors come into play and ultimately lead to dire circumstances. It’s typical for Glendale DUI defendants to have trouble explaining to other people precisely what went wrong and why. cannonball-metaphor-for-glendale-dui.jpg

After all, everyone knows the dangers of driving under the influence in Glendale — the serious penalties that you can face if you violate the law, not to mention the long-term costs that you will face financially, emotionally, and physically. Often what happens is not a thought out “breaking of the law,” but rather a momentary lapse of reason that has consequences well beyond the moment.

That’s all a little abstract. The explanation does not have the metaphorical punch needed to really communicate this feeling. Fortunately, the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters accidentally created the perfect metaphor to help give people perspective for what it feels like get busted for Glendale DUI. On December 7, the MythBusters team was experimenting with what happens to a cannon when it fires materials other than cannonballs.

Guess what? A massive accident happens!

According to the Times, the Discovery team fired a cannon at some trash cans, but the projectile went off course into a nearby home, where a couple was sleeping. Their bedroom was pierced by a 10-inch hole. According to the Times, “the cannonball was travelling as fast as a bullet. It exited the house, bounced across four lanes of traffic, struck the roof of another house and then smashed through the window of a parked minivan.” Fortunately – miraculously, perhaps – no one was injured. But the incident shows how small miscalibrations, accidental or even on purpose, can ricochet to massive, dangerous effects.

Likewise, when you miscalibrate how to drive in Glendale – drive too fast, drive while distracted, drive while DUI – the consequences can be metaphorically similar to the consequences of that misfired cannonball shot. Damages to life and limb can be the tragic consequence.

If you or someone you care about needs a Glendale DUI criminal defense attorney, trust Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group (450 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 600, Glendale, California 91203 Phone: (818) 507-9123). Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School-educated former District Attorney (14-plus years in that office) who has close relationships with those in the legal community and a terrific track record helping defendants like you.

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Most people who go to jail for crimes like Los Angeles Medicare or Medi-Cal fraud do not spend weeks or months ruminating over whether to skirt the law and ultimately decisively concluding to “lead a life of crime.” los-angeles-health-care-fraud-crime.jpg

That may be the way events play out on TV. But, in reality, the temptation to commit any Southern California white collar crime, like Los Angeles credit card fraud, insurance fraud in Los Angeles, etc is slowly and incrementally hatched.

In other words, there is no “a-ha!” moment – no epiphany where a doctor, chiropractor, dentist, or other professional makes an “evil villain” type speech and crosses over to the dark side.

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