A judge with Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that prosecutors presented enough evidence necessary to move forward in trying the case of insurance fraud it had brought against a 55-year-old man. The man stands accused of having stolen his clients’ identities, using their information to purchase health insurance policies without their consent and then double billing the insurers for services not rendered.
An investigation had been initiated some months back by the California Department of Insurance at the request of both the Los Angeles and Orange County prosecutor’s offices. That investigation culminated in the arrest of both the man and his chief financial officer in November. At the time of his arrest, the defendant operated nearly a dozen drug addiction homes across both of these California counties as well as in Colorado.
During each of their preliminary hearings, both pleaded not guilty to what amounts to almost 50 charges including identity theft, grand theft and money laundering. The victim in this case is listed as Los Angeles’ Community Recovery. Each is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail instead of being released on a $1.75 million bail.
It’s alleged that the pair’s deceptive practices amounted to a $176 million in damages overall. The health insurance companies Cigna, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Blue Shield and Humana alone reported having paid out an aggregate total of $44 million prior to pair’s alleged scheme having been discovered by investigators.
Both are scheduled for a formal arraignment on May 23, 2017. A conviction on the fraud charges alone carries a potential sentence of over 35 years.
To complicate matters, the prime male defendant arrested in this case is also currently facing additional charges of selling meth and for sexual assault of his female clients. Several of his former employees have filed civil lawsuits against him for discrimination as well.
It’s not all that uncommon that sentences for white collar crimes like this one are lengthy ones. This is because these crimes tend to involve complicated schemes, many of which involve the receipt of public funds to the tune of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
With that in mind, any defendant that has been charged with a crime of this sort should seek out counsel of a skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney to decide on a strategy for defending his or her case.
Source: ocregister.com, “Rehab Mogul will stand trial in $176 million fraud case,” Tony Saavedra, May 09, 2017