Los Angeles White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
Tabibnia Law Firm is Los Angeles criminal defense law firm. As a top rated Los Angeles White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney , Cyrus understands how easily white-collar crime charges can arise. White collar crimes, such as fraud, corporate fraud, bribery and tax evasion, are defined as financially motivated crimes that are primarily non-violent in nature. The penalties for white collar crimes can be significant, leaving you facing years in prison and hefty fines. If you are facing charges for white collar crimes in Los Angeles, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel from an attorney who has experience handling such cases. Contact a criminal defense lawyer at our Tabibnia Law firm to learn how we will aggressively defend you.
What Is a “White-Collar Crime”?
White Collar Crime was first coined in the 1930s to describe non-violent crime that was being prosecuted. Oftentimes, these crimes were charged when more serious violent crimes could not be proved. There are several crimes which fall under this category, such as embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering.
In California, the Federal Government charges White Collar crimes. District Attorney’s Offices and local prosecutors are involved in some cases as well. These types of offenses usually involve exploiting a position of trust for financial gain or taking property belonging to an employer.
The most prevalent form of embezzlement occurs when someone in a position of trust within an organization misappropriates funds. Bookkeepers, accountants, payroll clerks, etc. are often charged with this offense.
The number of prosecutions for medical insurance fraud has increased significantly in recent years. In many cases, those convicted of Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal insurance fraud have been sentenced to prison terms. Chiropractors have also been targeted for prosecution in cases involving allegations of false or misleading billing. These crimes are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.
Many high-profile criminal cases involving medical professionals begin with a search warrant being issued for documents from their professional offices. Cyrus as a Health Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney, has handled many of these cases.
White Collar Crime Penalties in Los Angeles, CA
Before charges are filed in court, however, an investigation would have to be undertaken by law enforcement. People who find themselves under investigation for white-collar crimes should seek legal representation immediately rather than waiting to be charged in court.
In many cases, a good white-collar crime lawyer in Los Angeles can meet with investigators and convince them not to file charges.
The defense of white-collar crimes may be complicated because the evidence collected against the accused often consists of significant amounts of paper and documentation and complex legal theories. In order to simplify their case, law enforcement may attempt to make a suspect “confess” or admit certain allegations. Such a statement to an investigator can carry enormous weight in a court of law and may lead to a conviction, even when the suspect is innocent. Without a suspect’s statement, the evidence against a suspect may be significantly weaker.
The consequences of an arrest or conviction for any white-collar crime can be devastating for an accused. The government can use forfeiture laws to seize their home and property immediately after charges are filed. Violations of these laws may also have a significant impact on a person’s professional license or accreditation. For more information about specific crimes and penalties, read the information below:
California Penal Code Section 67, 68 Penal Code: Bribery
Under California Penal Code Section 67 Penal Code or Penal Code 68 Penal Code, California law defines bribery as an offering, giving, or taking something of value, with corrupt intent, in order unlawfully to influence a person in any public or official capacity. A bribe charge is often prosecuted as a felony, with penalties of up to 4 years in prison. Bribery is among the most commonly prosecuted white-collar crimes in Southern California, and Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of bribery convictions. The crime of bribery occurs when a person in authority—for example, a government official or police officer—demands or is offered payment in return for a favor. People who offer bribes and people who accept them can both be charged with bribery.
Elements of the Bribery Offense:
The defendant must prove the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be found guilty of Bribing an Executive Officer under Penal Code Section 67:
- A defendant offered or gave a bribe to an executive; and
- An official act, vote, decision, etc., was influenced by the defendant’s corrupt intent
Defenses to bribery include, but are not limited to:
- There is no corrupt intent.
- Not Acting in an Official Capacity.
- The target of the bribe fails to meet the definition of an “executive officer.”
The Penal Code Section 67 punishes bribery with a sentence of two, three, or four years in prison. Bribery under this section cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor in the future.
California Penal Code 115: Filing a False or Forged Document
Under California Penal Code 115 Penal Code, you can be convicted of filing a false document with the government if you knowingly file, register, or record any forged or altered records in a public office. Forgery is often involved in real estate fraud, but it can also be applied to many other types of documents.
Elements of the Offense:
- Directly or indirectly, the defendant filed, recorded, or registered false or forged documents with a public agency.
- The defendant knew the document was false or forged when he or she filed, registered, or recorded it.
- Documents that are genuine and not fraudulent may be legally filed, recorded, or registered with a public agency if they are genuine and not fraudulent.
Defenses for Filing a False or Forged Document Include:
- It was not your intention to offer, or cause, a false or forged document to be filed;
- Even though a document is not false, you may dispute the prosecution’s claim that it is forged or altered.
- You were authorized to file the document in its disputed form because this is a case-specific defense.
- You were not responsible for the document being filed. It was filed by some other person without your knowledge or consent.
Violations of Penal Code Section 115(a) can result in prison sentences of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years. The court may grant the defendant probation and up to one year of local custody time in a county jail facility. Under Penal Code Section 115(b), each false document filed, registered, or recorded is considered a separate offense. Consequently, a court could impose consecutive sentences if multiple false documents are involved in a single case.
Pursuant to Penal Code Section 115(c), judges are directed to grant probation only in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served. Those qualified for probation are:
- Any person who has previously been convicted of violating California’s Penal Code Section 115;
- Any person convicted of more than one violation where the violations collectively caused more than $100,000 in losses.
California Penal Code 118: Perjury
Perjury charges are covered under California Penal Code Section 118. Perjury has only recently been classified as a white-collar crime. The crime is committed when someone intentionally lies under oath, whether by written or oral statement. An oath can be taken in court when a witness swears to tell the truth, or out of court if he understands and accepts the seriousness of making false statements. In Los Angeles, perjury is a felony and punishable by imprisonment for three years.
California Penal Code 154: Fraudulent Conveyance
California Penal Code Section 154 covers the crime of “fraudulent conveyance.”. In layman’s terms, this law states that you cannot give your property to another in order to avoid paying a debt. If you are unable to pay your debts and attempt to avoid paying them through fraudulent conveyances (property transfers) or other efforts, the law may penalize you. Penal Code Section 154 addresses fraudulent conveyance by a debtor, and Penal Code Section 155 covers fraudulent conveyance by a judgment debtor.
Both of these white collar crimes are committed by people seeking to avoid huge debts. In many cases, defendants transfer their property—money or assets like cars and houses—to someone else in an attempt to conceal it so they won’t have to pay a judgment against them.”
California Penal Code 424: Misappropriation of Public Funds
The misappropriation of public funds is one form of what is known as a white collar crime, and it falls under California Penal Code Section 424. Misuse of public funds is a basic law that makes it illegal when you use public money for an unrelated benefit or personal gain. In Los Angeles County, a public official will usually be charged with misappropriation of funds when he or she does not properly manage the money in his or her possession. But these charges can be filed against anyone who has control over government money.
California Penal Code Section 459: Commercial burglary
Burglary can be a felony or a misdemeanor. A first-degree burglary charge is always considered to be a serious felony under California Three Strikes Law.
Second degree commercial burglary can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the items stolen. Burglary is charged under California Penal Code Section 459. Burglary is punished by a maximum of three years in state prison if it’s classified as a felony; upon release from prison, the convicted burglar will be on parole for three more years. For misdemeanors, the punishment is up to one year in county jail and also includes 3 years of probation.
California Penal Code 470: Forgery
Code of California Penal 470, known as the forgery statute, is considered a white collar crime.
A forgery occurs when the suspect signs another person’s name or signature, intending to commit fraud and gain a benefit. The benefit is often financial, such as in check fraud—taking a check belonging to another person and signing the true owner’s name without their permission. People can also commit forgery by falsifying a will or another legal document, as often happens in elder abuse cases. This typically occurs when someone who is trusted by an elderly victim writes a will and copies the victim’s signature to gain financial benefits.
California Penal Code 476(a): Passing Bad Checks
Under California Penal Code Section 476A PC, Writing or passing “bad checks” is a serious criminal offense. Penal Code 476a PC makes it a crime to write or pass a bad check (knowing that there are or will be insufficient funds in the account). The offense can be charged as a felony if the value of the bad checks is more than $950.00. Otherwise, the offense is only a misdemeanor. However, if a check bounces, it doesn’t mean you’re guilty of a crime. In fact, the government has to prove your intent (to defraud and awareness that you were committing fraud) beyond reasonable doubt—a very high legal standard for them to meet
Please note: Penal Code 476a is one of two California bad check laws. The other is Penal Code 476 PC, check fraud.
California Penal Code Sections 484e, 484f, 484g, 484h, 484i and 484j: Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card
Under California Penal Code Sections 484e, 484f, 484g, 484h, 484i and 484j PC, There are several forms of credit card fraud. These sections also apply to debit cards and other access cards.
This statute makes it a crime to use a stolen, fake, forged or expired credit card in order to obtain goods and cash knowing that the card had been revoked. Any person who intentionally uses an invalid credit card to get goods or cash, could face a criminal prosecution under Penal Code 484g. Penal Code section 484g states that the punishment for burglary may vary based on the value of items or services stolen.
Legal penalties include a prison sentence up to three years and fines of $1,000 or more. In addition, restitution may be ordered by the court.
California Penal Code Section 487(a): Grand theft
A theft is any form of stealing, specifically the act of taking another person’s property without permission and with the intent to deprive that individual permanently from its value.
California’s criminal law recognizes two levels of theft: grand theft and petty theft. California’s Penal Code 487 defines grand theft as the stealing of real property, personal property, labor or money from another person with a total value of $950 or more. Petite theft occurs when property losses are less than $950. If a grand theft conviction is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, the defendant could face up to one year in county jail and fines plus payment of victim restitution.
If convicted of grand theft as a felony, you could be sentenced to 16 months, two years or three years in California state prison.
In cases where the loss amount exceeds certain statutory thresholds, significant sentencing enhancements can result in extended state prison sentences.
California Penal Code Section 496(b): Receiving Stolen Property
Penal Code 496 PC defines the crime of receiving stolen property—the act of buying, receiving or withholding any property that has been obtained through theft or extortion.
The offense can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A violation of Penal Code §496 is generally a misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950.
In California, receiving stolen property is considered a “wobbler,” which means it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor offense depending upon the facts and circumstances of your individual case, your criminal history—and most importantly: the value of the item you received.
A person who has possession of stolen property can be sentenced to up to a year in county jail for this crime.
California Penal Code Section 502(c): Computer Access and Fraud
“Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act” California Penal Code 502 PC makes it a crime when you access another person’s or company’s computer, data, software, or network without permission and have the intent to defraud, cause harm, or commit a crime.
- Altering, deleting or stealing data from someone else’s computer system.
- Providing unauthorized access to a computer or network.
- Denying or blocking computer services to authorized users.
- Unauthorized use of a computer, such as hacking into systems or stealing passwords.
- Creating or spreading viruses in order to gain control of computers.
- Using someone else’s domain name or profile in your work.
- Accessing a government or public safety computer system without proper authorization.
Prosecutors can charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony, and conviction carries a sentence of up to three years in jail. Penalties for the violation of Penal Code Section 502 will vary depending on which statute was broken.
California Penal Code 503: Embezzlement
Under California Penal Code 503 PC, embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by someone to whom it has been entrusted. Embezzlement can be charged as a felony if the value of the appropriated goods is greater than $950, otherwise it is only a misdemeanor. Embezzlement is different from other types of theft in that the property taken had been entrusted to you by its rightful owner.
In other words, the property legally belonged to the defendant, but he/she took possession of it without permission.
Embezzling $950 or less of money or property is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.
Embezzlement of more than $950 can be charged as a felony, which carries a sentence of up to three years in custody.
California Penal Code 504: Embezzlement by a Public Official
The California Penal Code 504 PC is the statute that prosecutors use to file criminal charges against a public officer who has fraudulently used any public funds or property, in a manner that goes beyond their official authority. Embezzlement occurs when a person uses property or money that was entrusted to them by another individual, then misuses it in some kind of fraudulent manner. Most embezzlement crimes are prosecuted under California Penal Code 503, which is similar to Penal Code 487 grand theft and a “wobbler” offense that can be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony. Penal Code 504 applies to government officials, typically someone working for the state or county government—steals money from his employer. A public official violates Penal Code 504 PC when he or she misappropriates public funds for personal use. Embezzlement convictions can result in one of the following punishments:
- Jail time Plus Fine. PC 484 and 488 convictions for petty theft may result in up to six months in county jail, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Prison time Plus Fine. A conviction for grand theft under California Penal Code section 487 can result in a three-year state prison term and a $10,000 fine.
In California, grand theft is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up $1,000. Probation involves being under the supervision of a court, rather than in jail or prison. The court would require you to follow certain rules until your sentence is complete.
California Penal Code Section 518: Extortion
Under California Penal Code (CPC) 518 PC Extortion occurs when a person uses threats or force to obtain money, property or services from another person.
This is “Extortion By Threat Or Force,” which is also known as blackmail. If you’re caught committing extortion in California, you could end up spending two to four years in county jail and/or being fined up to $10,000. You might also be placed on felony probation, which would allow you to serve at least part of your sentence in the community while being supervised. If a judge finds that the terms of a felony probation have been violated, he or she can revoke probation and require the convict to serve the full sentence.
California Penal Code 524: Attempted Extortion
Penal Code 524 PC, California’s extortion statute, makes it a crime if you try to get someone else’s property or money by making threats.
If you or someone else attempts this, they may be charged with extortion under Penal Code 518 PC. The offense of attempted extortion is a wobble, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
If a person is convicted of attempted extortion as a misdemeanor, he or she can be:
- Sentenced up to one year in the county jail,
- Fined up to $10,000.
If a person is convicted of attempted extortion as a felony, he or she can be:
- sentenced up to three years in California state prison,
- fined up to $10,000.
Readers should be aware that judges can order probation instead of jail time for a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
California Penal Code 529: False Impersonation
California Penal Code 529 describes “falsely impersonating another” as an act of fraud, by which a person represents himself to be someone else in order to gain benefits or cause harm. Impersonating someone means falsely pretending to be that person, and California Penal Code 529 makes it a crime to conduct an act (such as signing their name or even speaking in public) that might make them liable for money damages—or gain some other advantage.
California Penal Code 529 is a “wobbler,” which means that prosecutors have the option of charging it as either a misdemeanor or felony offense.
The decision on whether to file charges is typically based upon the specific circumstances of your case and any prior criminal record.
If found guilty of violating PC 529 as a misdemeanor, you will be subject to the following penalties:
- Up to one year in county jail;
- A fine up to $10,000.
If you are convicted of violating Penal Code 529 as a felony, the following penalties may apply:
- Up to three years in jail;
- A fine up to $10,000;
- Formal felony probation
California Penal Code Section 530.5(a): Identity Theft
Identity theft is using someone’s personal identifying information (including their name, social security number, credit card number or driver’s license) without that person’s consent and for fraudulent purposes.
PC 530.5 identity theft is a “wobbler” crime that can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime and whether other crimes were committed alongside it. Personal identifying information includes names, addresses phone numbers, social security number account PIN passport information.
As technology has made it easier to access personal information, cases of identity theft have skyrocketed. Law enforcement is devoting more resources than ever to fighting this growing crime problem. California has one of the highest rates of identity theft in the country, with over 1 million complaints per year.
Because of the frequency and severity of identity theft, prosecutors have begun aggressively pursuing those who commit it.
The Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys from our firm provide a brief overview below of identity theft laws to give readers an idea of how the legal system works. Legal penalties for Penal Code 530.5 identity theft vary according to prior convictions and the severity of the crime committed by the offender.
California Penal Code Section 530.5(e): Mail fraud
Anyone who commits mail theft, as defined by Section 1708 of Title 18 of the United States Code, is guilty of a crime. Such criminals shall be fined or imprisoned—or both—upon conviction for their illegal activity.
Prosecution under this subdivision does not preclude prosecution for any other offense, including offenses defined in sections (a) through (c), inclusive.
According to the code, an individual can be prosecuted for mail theft if they steal or retain a person’s mail without permission.
California Penal Code 531 – Participating in a Fraudulent Conveyance
California Penal Code Section 154 and 155 make it illegal for debtors to fraudulently transfer or convey property in order to avoid payment on a debt. However, when a debtor commits this type of offense, it is not just he or she who can be punished. Under California Penal Code Section 531 PC, anyone involved in the fraudulent conveyance—including third parties such as banks and other creditors—can also face criminal charges. Because the California Penal Code Section 531 PC expands penalties to any party associated with a debtor’s fraudulent conveyance, it is considered a powerful protection for creditors.
California Penal Code 532: Theft by False Pretenses
California Penal Code Section 532 PC describes several different ways to commit theft by false pretenses.
Under PC 532, one commits a crime when he or she defrauds another person of their money or property by using false promises, such as convincing someone to voluntarily give up something of value based on fraudulent representation.
Deception is the primary factor in this type of theft crime.
A “false pretense” is anything said or done to deceive another person.
- Giving someone inaccurate or misleading information.
- Making a promise you know well you won’t be able to keep.
- Not providing someone with the information that you should have disclosed.
- Misrepresenting something to someone in a reckless way.
The penalties for this type of theft offense will depend on the total value of the items taken.
Prosecutors may charge you with Penal Code 532 PC theft by false pretenses, even if you omitted information when obligated to provide it—if they believe that this was done intentionally.
California Penal Code 532f: Mortgage Fraud
California Penal Code 532f defines the crime of mortgage fraud, which is also known as real estate fraud. This statute applies to anyone who participates in a mortgage transaction, including the lender and borrower. PC 532f applies to various types of credit transactions, including residential mortgages and commercial loans. Mortgage fraud occurs when someone lies or cheats during real estate transactions such as buying, selling, renting or financing property. These laws apply to a wide range of conduct concerning housing, rental agreements and mortgages. They penalize anyone who deliberately provides false information about a real estate transaction. Anyone convicted of mortgage fraud faces harsh penalties, including jail time and fines.
In California, foreclosure fraud and other types of real estate fraud are normally treated as a “wobbler” offense. This means that the prosecutor can choose to file the case either as a misdemeanor or felony crime.
California Penal Code 532a(1): False Financial Statements
If you falsify information to convince someone else—like a bank, for example—to give yourself money or credit, it’s called fraud. Fraud violates penal code 532a(1), making false financial statements. If convicted of this crime, you could be facing up to 3 years in prison
Penal Code 532a(1) false financial statements is a white-collar crime that is legally defined as Any person who knowingly makes or causes to be made, directly or indirectly, any false statement in writing, with the intent that it shall be relied upon, to procure personal property, cash, a loan or credit, the execution of a contract for their benefit, or a firm or corporation, is guilty of making false financial statements.”
One typical example of PC 532a(1) is when somebody submits a false financial statement to a bank or other financial institution in order to obtain a loan.
If you used a fake name, business name or social security number while doing the above, you would be charged with identity theft—a felony offense which carries up to $5000 in fines and 3 years imprisonment if convicted. If you used a fake name, business name or social security number while doing the above, you would be charged with identity theft—a felony offense which carries up to $5000 in fines and 3 years imprisonment if convicted.
If you used a fake name, business name or social security number while doing the above, you would be charged with identity theft—a felony offense which carries up to $5000 in fines and 3 years imprisonment if convicted.
California Penal Code 548, 549, 550, 551: Damage or Abandon a Vehicle for Auto Insurance Fraud
In California, auto insurance fraud takes many forms and is defined under multiple statutes.
- California Penal Code Section 548 PC – Under this statute, it is illegal to purposely damage or abandon one’s vehicle in order to file an insurance claim.
- California Penal Code Section 549 PC – This section makes it a crime to refer someone—knowing that the professional would submit a fraudulent auto insurance claim on behalf of his or her client.
- California Penal Code Section 550 PC – The statute criminalizes the following conduct:
- Filing a fraudulent insurance claim.
- Making or signing a document containing false information in support of an insurance claim
- Filing a fraudulent insurance claim by staging an accident.
- Claiming to live in another city or state—even if you don’t—to lower your auto insurance premium.
- California Penal Code Section 551 PC – This makes it illegal for auto repair professionals to pay insurance agents referral fees.
Auto insurance fraud is a crime that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the particulars of the offense and the criminal history of the defendant. If charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and fines. He or she may also have to pay restitution for any damages caused by the accident.
If a defendant is convicted of auto insurance fraud, he or she may face up to five years in prison with two extra years for each prior conviction.
California Penal Code 550(a): Health Insurance Fraud
California Penal Code 550(a)(1) PC makes it a crime to knowingly present, or cause to be presented, any false claim for payment of loss or injury under an insurance contract.
Health insurance fraud often takes the form of: Submitting a claim for benefits under a health insurance plan for an injury that is not legitimate—for instance, claiming coverage from injuries sustained at home when on-the-job accidents are the insured party’s only source of employment.
Health care providers are usually charged with violating PC 550 (such as doctors, nurses, therapists and medical secretaries), but sometimes patients are also implicated.
When a person creates or uses documents to advance a fraudulent scheme, those documents are considered part of the fraud.
In some cases, doctors and other medical professionals may unintentionally break a law.
California Unemployment Insurance Code 2101: Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Unemployment insurance fraud is covered in sections 2101 and 550 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code and Penal Code. In California, the unemployment insurance program provides financial assistance to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. They can use these funds while they continue looking for work . However, if you voluntarily quit your job or were terminated for certain reasons, you may not be eligible. This crime could occur when you provide false information or give a fake ID to receive benefits.
The penalties for unemployment fraud vary, depending on the particular offense.
In California, most fraud cases are prosecuted as a “wobbler.” This means the Los Angeles County prosecutor can file criminal charges which could result in either misdemeanor or felony penalties for the defendant. Their decision on how to file the case will be based on several factors, including:
- Specific circumstances
- Amount of the fraud
- Prior criminal record
A person can be convicted of more than one section of the California Unemployment Insurance Code.
California Welfare and Institutions Code 10980 – Welfare Fraud
The State of California offers a wide array of welfare programs, including CalWORKs (which provides cash assistance to families with children), CalFresh (food stamps), GAIN (general assistance for needy people who are not elderly or disabled) and others. These programs assist unemployed and underemployed citizens with basic necessities, such as housing and food. When someone tries to defraud the system by receiving benefits they are not entitled to, it is considered a crime under WIC 10980. In most cases, welfare fraud occurs when a recipient or employee provides false information to receive food stamps, or Medi-Cal benefits.
Since the WIC 10980 law has so many different violations, from smaller crimes to serious offenses, it is possible for a person convicted of welfare fraud to face penalties ranging from small fines to imprisonment.
California Insurance Code 1871.4: Workers’ Compensation Fraud
The False and Fraudulent Claims Act (California Insurance Code 1871.4) is the primary statute used for prosecuting workers’ compensation fraud cases.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that provides benefits to people who are injured or become ill at work.
Workers’ compensation fraud can occur when an employee deliberately and knowingly alters, conceals or misrepresents facts about their injury to collect benefits for which they’re not eligible.
It’s also a crime to file for payment from an insurance company for treatment you didn’t actually receive.
Another example is filing more than one claim for the same treatment on the same injury.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor violation of workers’ compensation fraud, penalties may include: up to one year in jail, fines up to $50,000 (or double the amount stolen), and restitution paid back to employer and insurance company
If you are convicted of a workers’ compensation fraud felony offense, your legal penalties may include two to five years in state prison and fines ranging from $150,000—or double the amount defrauded. You will also be required to pay restitution to the employer and insurance company.
California Business and Professions Code 17511.9 – Telemarketing Fraud
Section 17511.9 of the California Business and Professions Code defines telemarketing fraud as a scheme to sell goods or services by telephone in a manner that deceives or defrauds consumers.
In some cases, the caller will claim to be calling from a government agency such as the IRS or Social Security Administration. The caller may state that there is an ongoing investigation into your account—or threaten legal action if you fail to cooperate with them immediately.
Another scam involves a caller who claims to represent a software or computer company, and warns the victim of an imminent threat on their system—for example, a deadly virus that only the caller can deal with. (This is often done at an extortionate rate.)
This is a serious crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony and carries with it the potential for at least 3 years in prison.
California Business and Professions Code 6125 – Unauthorized Practice of Law
As per California Business and Professions Code 6126(a), It is illegal in California to practice law without a license.
If you are not licensed as an attorney by the California State Bar, you cannot practice law or give legal advice to people who live in the state.
If you are convicted of this crime, you could be fined up to $1,000 and spend up to 1 year in jail per count. If disbarred and continue practicing law, the penalty could be 3 years prison time.
California Business and Professions Code 2052 – Unauthorized Practice of Medicine
Under California Business & Professions Code 2052 BPC, it is illegal to practice medicine in the state—or own and operate a healthcare facility staffed by doctors—without holding an active medical license.
It is also illegal to advertise oneself as a practitioner of any system that claims to treat illness or afflictions. Another possible factor in the prosecution of BPC 2052 cases is that the defendant treated, operated on, or prescribed for any ailment without a valid license.
BPC 2052 makes it a crime to practice medicine without a license, but whether prosecutors charge you with a misdemeanor or felony depends on various factors.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you can be fined up to $1000 and sentenced to one year in county jail. If found guilty of a felony, the potential fine increases to $10,000 and sentencing could include 16 months or more in prison.
A judge may choose to sentence someone convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony offense to a type of probation that is neither jail time nor prison time.
California Vehicle Code 4463 – Vehicle Registration Fraud
California Vehicle Code 4463 is the statute that makes it illegal for people to engage in fraud or forgery regarding vehicle registration certificates, tags or stickers, license plates—or smog test certifications. A prosecutor may charge this crime as either a misdemeanor (punishable by up to six months in jail) or felony (punishable by more than one year).
California treats vehicle registration documents as official records. Therefore, altering or forging any of them is considered fraud and subject to punishment.
Many people think of forgery as a minor offense, but forging or falsifying vehicle registration information is a serious crime in California and could lead to felony charges and jail time.
Illegal actions under Vehicle Code include registering your vehicle with the wrong year, giving a false car value when registering a car, and using someone else’s valid registration stickers or papers.
Defense Strategies in White-Collar Cases
- You had no criminal intent and committed the crime only because you made a mistake.
- You were unaware that the information you gave was false.
- The victim was not harmed physically or financially by a fraud.
- Someone else was responsible for the crime.
- The prosecution’s evidence is not strong enough to prove your guilt.
- The evidence against you was obtained in violation of your rights.
White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles
Being charged with a white-collar crime, such as tax evasion or embezzlement, does not simply mean you will be punished. If convicted of these crimes, your career and reputation could suffer significantly. We know how serious white-collar crimes can be, so we investigate every detail of your case. We frequently enlist the help of skilled investigators—such as ex-IRS agents, FBI agents and postal inspectors. Cyrus is one of the top-rated white-collar crimes attorneys in Los Angeles.
Contact white collar criminal defense attorney Los Angeles at TABIBNIA LAW FIRM today 866-713-2159 and schedule a consultation.