Trusted Criminal Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles

Fraud Crime Defense

Fraud offenses are crimes in which you incur a loss to another person in order to unfairly or undeservedly benefit yourself. These are often called “white collar crimes” because they include embezzlement and other financial offenses.

Most fraud offenses are crimes involving moral turpitude under federal immigration law. Convictions can subject non-citizens to deportation or removal. Additionally, fraud convictions can result in the loss of professional licenses.

Under civil forfeiture laws, the government can seize money or other assets that were allegedly involved in the crimes, even without a criminal conviction.[1]

Lastly, fraud crimes almost always require restitution – or repayment – to the victim. For complex fraud schemes, these can be huge amounts of money.

When it comes to upholding your rights both in and out of the courtroom, Moaddel Law Firm has the experience and resources to provide you with a solid legal defense.  Our more than 90% success rate means we are highly competent defense lawyers, and our exceptional degree of client satisfaction is because we always prioritize the needs of our clients.  You need representation you can trust when your future is at stake, so turn to Moaddel Law Firm

Federal Crimes Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles

Many of the acts that are criminalized by California’s fraud laws are also federal crimes. This means, in addition to state charges, you could also be prosecuted by the federal government. The penalties in federal cases are often more serious. You can be prosecuted in federal court even if you have already been prosecuted in state court—and even if you have been found not guilty. If you are charged with a fraud offense, an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can negotiate with both state and federal prosecutors to bring about the best result in your case.

Types of fraud crimes

Car Insurance Fraud

Some examples of automobile insurance fraud are staging an accident to collect claims money or inflating the price of an insurance claim.[2] Most forms of auto insurance fraud are felonies, with penalties ranging from 16 months to five years in prison.[3]

Healthcare Insurance Fraud–§ 550

Under Penal Code § 550(a), both patients and healthcare providers can be charged with healthcare insurance fraud. Some examples are charging for services not provided or over-billing for services that were provided or “doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug.  If the claims are valued at $950 or less, the offense is a misdemeanor.[4] Otherwise, the offense is a wobbler. If the offense is charged as a felony, the potential punishment is up to five years in jail.[5]

Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Both employers and employees can be charged with unemployment insurance fraud. Employers can be charged for filing false information about an employee’s termination in order to deny their benefits, or by providing false information about employee wages. Individuals can be charged for falsifying information about their attempts to find employment or by collecting benefits in multiple states. Many of these offenses are “wobblers,” and can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the facts of the case.

Foreclosure Fraud

Foreclosure fraud occurs when a person–usually a “foreclosure consultant”—claims to be able to prevent or postpone a foreclosure sale and charges excessive fees, takes a lien against or takes an interest in the property, takes power of attorney from the homeowner, or induces the homeowner to sign an illegal contract.[6] These cases are “wobblers” that can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies.[7]

“Straw Buyer” Fraud

“Straw buyer” schemes involve individuals with good credit who are recruited – and paid – by real estate agents or brokers to use their information to secure a home loan for another buyer who cannot secure a loan due to poor credit. The broker then takes the money, the buyer takes possession of the home and often defaults on payments, and the straw buyer is left responsible for the mortgage and possible criminal charges. These cases are often prosecuted in federal court.

Check Fraud–§ 476

Check fraud under Penal Code § 476 occurs when someone makes, uses, or possesses a check with the intent to defraud the payee and represents the check to be genuine. Check fraud can be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the fraudulent check is $950 or less, the offense will be a misdemeanor.[8]

Under Penal Code § 476A, check fraud also includes passing “bad checks,” where the check is genuine but the person knows there are insufficient funds to cover the purchase. Like check fraud, passing a bad check is a “wobbler,” unless the check is for $950 or less, in which case it is a misdemeanor.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud occurs by using someone else’s credit card without their permission, selling or using counterfeit cards, or using a credit card–including your own–knowing that it is expired. Depending on the circumstances and the amount of loss, credit card fraud offenses can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Many instances of credit card fraud are also federal offenses under 18 U.S.C. 1029.

The Tireless Advocacy You Need

If you or a loved one have been charged with a fraud crime, there is no time to waste.  Particularly if federal agencies are involved, you need to begin building your legal defense today.  Call the experienced Los Angeles fraud attorneys at Moaddel Law Firm and get the representation you deserve.

Protect your future–call us at (877) 375-8188 to get started!

[1] See, e.g., Penal Code § 502.01.

[2] Penal Code §§ 548-551.

[3] Penal Code § 550(c).

[4] Penal Code § 550(c)(2)(A).

[5]

[6] Civil Code §§ 2945, 2945.4.

[7] Civil Code x§ 2945.4.

[8] Penal Code § 743.