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.”
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.
Instead, what happens is that frustrated, angry, or opportunistic business people come to identify fraudulent activities as doable and acceptable, based on their circumstances. The human mind has an amazing ability to justify what it wants to justify. Thus, for instance, say you are a doctor who has spent years getting ripped off by unfair insurance practices and patients who skip out on bills. You may develop the belief that it’s right to “take something back” for yourself, and thus the seeds for Medicare or Medi-Cal fraud are planted in your mind.
You may develop this belief months, if not years, before you violate industry norms, but the belief sits there, eroding your good judgment and causing you stress.
The other thing to remember is that white collar crimes are often crimes of desperation. Or at least they start out that way. Perhaps you had a mortgage payment ballooning ever higher every month. Or maybe you have kids in school, and you need to pay for their education somehow. Or maybe you become aware of a gray market connection with a dubious pharmacy, or you read about some cunning scheme that another medical fraud artist pulled off in some other state.
The point is: what drove you to do what you did was almost certainly a real and understandable human need. Maybe you needed to protect your children, save your home, prop up the business that you grew and loved, enjoy the fruits of your labor. Whatever the fundamental need was, it was not necessarily a bad thing. The strategy that you may have employed might have been dangerous, stupid, illegal, etc. But avoid condemning the need that drove you to desperate measures.
Of course, platitudes aside, you need a specific, action-oriented plan to help you build a defense. Los Angeles Medicare fraud attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group can help you discover the most picture perfect legal plan based on what you’ve been charged with.