SACRAMENTO CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
“White Collar” crime is a category of criminal crime defined by their non-violent nature. Originally, the term “white collar” was used in the 1930’s to refer to the non-violent crimes prosecutors could prove an individual had committed when their violent crimes could not be substantiated. White collar crime could is a tricky area of the criminal law so make sure to speak with a skilled Sacramento criminal defense lawyer regarding your case specifically.
White Collar crime committed in California can be prosecuted by the federal government, the district attorney’s office, or the local prosecutor’s office. Most White Collar crimes are nonviolent and involve the mishandling of money or property. Below is a list of the most common White Collar crimes:
- Embezzlement – the theft or misappropriation (putting where it shouldn’t be) of property or funds belonging to an employer or otherwise placed in one’s trust.
- Extortion – using threats or force to procure money (robbery through threat)
- Bribery – influencing the actions of another through the offering or gifting of objects of value
- Forgery – falsification of documents, signatures, or objects of value for the purpose of deceiving another person
- Theft – identity theft. Using another’s identification to obtain objects of value e.g. credit cards, loans, etc.
- Receiving stolen property – knowingly accepting property that was stolen
- Burglary – entering private or commercial property with the intent to commit a theft or any felony. First degree is the burglary of a residence and second degree is the burglary of a business or store.
- Fraud – there are many different types of fraud you could be convicted for. Credit card fraud is the use of a credit or debit card as a fraudulent source of funds for purchases. Tax fraud is willfully failing to pay taxes. Insurance fraud has many different types in which premiums or assets are diverted for personal gain. Healthcare fraud includes dishonest claims, scammers fabricating aspects of insurance to gain private information, etc. Internet fraud and mail fraud are some of the other ones that fall into this category.
There are several types of non-medical, insurance fraud that require additional clarification due to the nuance and variety of factors. Always speak with a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide the best course of action. One type of insurance fraud is premium diversion. Insurance premiums are the cost of insurance that an insurance-holder pays every month or sometimes every six month in order to have an insurance plan. These funds are considered the income of insurance companies and are what individuals pay for their plan.Premium diversion is the embezzlement of premiums. It is the most common form of insurance fraud and is often accomplished in the following ways:
- an insurance agent fails to send the premiums from an individual insurance-holder to the company and instead pockets them.
- an individual sells insurance and collects the premiums, but does not actually pay claims.
Fee churning is another type of insurance fraud that is somewhat complicated as it involves reinsurance agreements. Think of reinsurance agreements as an insurance for insurance companies. Essentially, insurance agents gradually chip away at an insurance-holder’s premiums, diverting the money to “fees” that initially seem legitimate. Eventually, so much of the premiums have been claimed to be “fees,” there is no more money from the premiums to pay claims. Asset diversion, another type of insurance fraud, is when one insurance company absorbs another, a loan is used to make the purchase. In asset diversion, the buyer uses assets of the absorbed company to pay back the loan and uses the remaining assets for personal gain (e.g. liquidates the value).
Medical fraud is often called health insurance fraud, medical insurance billing fraud, Medicare fraud, or Medi-Cal fraud. Incidences of medical fraud have increased in recent years, partly due to the confusion and lack of knowledge about government medical insurance plans such as Medi-Cal and the Affordable Care Act. Insurance is also the main way most individuals pay for healthcare as healthcare costs are very difficult to pay independently and the costs are on the rise. Also, the processing system for payments is typically quite complicated and leads to confusion and opportunities for fraud.
People that often are accused of medical fraud are individual insurance-holders who make fraudulent claims; doctors of other medical professionals who bill for medical procedures that were never performed, bill for more expensive medical procedures than the patient received, for bill twice for a procedure that was only performed once; and imposters who contact individuals, claiming to be an insurance representative to procure private information such as social security numbers.
The penalties for medical fraud varies:
- If the fraudulent claims are worth no more than $950, it is a misdemeanor. This can result in six months in county jail and/or a fine of $1000.
- If the claims in question total more than $950, then the offense may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This can result in two, three, or five years in county jail and/or a fine of $50,000 or double the amount of the fraud.
Speak to a Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Case
White collar crime is a rather tricky category of criminal law especially since it can be prosecuted by the federal government as well as the state government. We have experience in both state and federal courts in Northern California so give us a call at (916) 441-4888 for a free consultation.
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