A 50-year-old California man has been sentenced to four years of incarceration after he was found to be renting Orange County homes he didn't own to unsuspecting tenants. He accomplished this unusual feat by filing quitclaim deeds against the homes. The properties were "distressed," meaning some had been foreclosed and were bank-owned, but others were privately owned by people who did not currently occupy them.
A California woman accused of running a surrogacy scam pleaded guilty to the charges but now has been ordered to pay more than $1.7 million to those whom the court said that she defrauded. The 37-year-old was serving five years in prison for the alleged fraud before the restitution order was handed down. Court documents claimed that from 2006 to 2009, the woman enacted a scheme to defraud parenting hopefuls through her own company and through an independent financial group.
On July 31, local and federal authorities in Ventura took eight individuals into custody in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. According to authorities, the scheme involved filing loan applications on behalf of primarily Spanish-speaking individuals in the lower-income bracket. The applications would generate substantial commissions and loan fees. When the homes went into foreclosure, lending institutions lost millions of dollars.
A man who was accused of transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars from California banks to those in Hawaii pleaded guilty to charges recently in a Honolulu court. The man was accused of several counts of white collar crime, including fraud in a $400,000 wire transfer between San Francisco and Honolulu in July 2003, $730,000 worth of transfers in April, May and August 2003, and September and October 2003 wire transfers totaling $100,000 from a bank in Orange County.Total losses in the Ponzi scheme included $1 million. Most of these funds allegedly came from money transferred to previous investors by collecting money from new investors. Government prosecutors agreed to dismisses remaining counts against the man at the time of sentencing if the accused man would participate in a plea agreement. However, there is no sentencing agreement in place; if convicted, the man could receive up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
An Irvine, California, man was arrested in Huntington Beach for mortgage fraud. The mail fraud charges were contained in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury and unsealed after the arrest was made. The charges allege that the accused 48-year-old mortgage broker falsified information about employers, assets and income for straw buyers who claimed to be executives in the accused man's company.Using this technique, the indictment alleges that the accused man originated more than $5 million in residential mortgage loans. In many cases, the purported borrowers listed these residences as their primary homes. Foreclosures on these properties resulted in losses of more than $2 million. If convicted, the accused man could face 30 years in jail and more than $1 million in fines.
A couple from Newport Coast, California were convicted and sentenced in March to federal prison for fraud charges stemming from their alleged theft of $7 million from a consortium consisting of seven separate banks. The alleged white collar crime resulted in the husband receiving a sentence of 21 months while his wife was sentenced to three years. The couple was also ordered to pay $4.7 million in restitution. The couple owned an import business in Anaheim and were accused of obtaining a $130 million line of credit from the banking consortium. The charges alleged that they defrauded the banks by overstating their accounts receivable by millions of dollars in order to access the funds. The couple eventually pleaded guilty to the charges and also admitted to falsification of records.
The Affordable Care Act has given the government more control than ever before over managing health care fraud and abuse that leads to waste in the system. These types of white collar crime on the part of physicians cost the American taxpayers millions every year, despite the fact that only a fraction of all doctors are guilty of these actions. The False Claims Act can result in heavy fines if physicians are found to have submitted false reports to the government. This primarily affects physicians treating Medicare and Medicaid patients. The 2010 reform expanded the power of the law and enabled federal officials to more easily conduct investigations against alleged violators. A violation occurs when a physician or other health care professional knowingly presents a false claim for services.
A fraud investigation led Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputies to the arrest of a woman who allegedly stole another's identity on Feb. 6. The 21-year-old suspect is said to have assumed the identity of a 70-year-old Georgia resident when she obtained $5,000 in cash advances using the woman's credit card information. She was arrested for both identity theft and grand theft and is being held in jail on a $50,000 bond.Identity theft is a growing problem, and authorities remind everyone to be aware of all account activity on their bank and credit card statements. If any transactions seem suspect, one should report this activity immediately to both one's financial institution as well as local authorities. It is important to do this quickly as catching perpetrators of fraud often hinges on a time factor.
Unlike many other crimes, white collar crimes typically do not involve violence. White collar crimes generally involve financial theft.
State auditors conducting nine investigations have alleged that state workers were overpaid and committed bribery, mail fraud and other financial crimes. At least nine of these investigations have resulted in convictions for the state workers involved.In one case, employees of the Franchise Tax Board and the Office of the Secretary of State collaborated with a courier service owner in issuing "official" letters to business owners stating that in order to find out if they were in good standing with the state, they had to pay a $20 processing fee. One employee issued letters of good standing to businesses through the courier, who paid $300 to $400 a week for these services. The two employees involved in the scheme, as well as the courier, were convicted on bribery charges and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $227,000 to the state.