Fraud is most often described as the intentional deception made for personal gain or to willfully damage another individual. The state of California is no stranger to this dubious practice and has enacted many laws to help protect against the many variations of fraud including:
- Foreclosure Fraud
- Health Care Fraud
- Auto Insurance Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Medi-Cal Fraud
- Prescription Fraud
- Real Estate & Mortgage Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Senior Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Workers Compensation Fraud
- Welfare Fraud
Fraud charges are not something you can or want to face alone. You need a team of San Diego criminal defense lawyers by your side to help fight for your freedom from these allegations and charges. The professionals at the Law Office of Bradley R. Corbett can help.
Depending on the type of fraud charges you may be facing, California can impose penalties ranging from the mundane to severe. If convicted, these penalties can include significant fines and jail or prison sentences. Prosecutors pursuing a fraud conviction are most often looking for one of two main motives:
- Financial gain
- The attempt to escape criminal responsibility
Fraud is considered a white-collar crime that is similar to but separate from California’s theft, forgery, and perjury laws. Prosecutors can seek to charge defendants with misdemeanor or felony offenses. A misdemeanor charge can carry up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. The far more serious felony charge can carry a $10,000 fine and 1-3 years in a state prison. Of course, felony charges can be even harsher depending on the severity of the crime and the strike count against the offender.
Why You Need a California Fraud Attorney
With so many different classifications for fraud and even more laws, it’s nearly impossible for an individual to attempt a defense on their own. A qualified and experienced San Diego attorney like Bradley R. Corbett who specializes in fraud cases is the best possible option. Your attorney will help build a legal defense against fraud based mostly on one of three things:
- Intent – you didn’t intend to commit fraud or have a malicious intent to begin with.
- Mistaken Identity – you were wrongfully convicted either because of a misidentification by a witness or you were the “assumed” offender.
- Entrapment – you were improperly coerced to commit the crime by law enforcement
A lawyer skilled in defending fraud will be able to present your case clearly and effectively during the trial.
The fraud attorneys at the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett are versed in all forms of fraud. Our team has successfully defended many of the different types of fraud listed above.
Different Types of Fraud in Detail
A quick glance at the different types of California fraud charges is enough to intimidate most. Our skilled San Diego criminal defense attorneys are more than familiar with all types of fraud convictions and want to help you better understand a few of the major types of fraud.
Given the current economic strife in the housing market, foreclosure fraud is one of the most common and steadily increasing real estate fraud charges across the state. Foreclosure fraud consists of five possible offenses:
- Charging compensation before performing every promised service to help fight foreclosure
- Charging excessive fees for services
- Requiring collateral for services
- Securing power of attorney from the homeowner
- Coercing a homeowner into signing an illegal contract
Those within the healthcare profession are susceptible to committing healthcare fraud in the state of California. Doctors, pharmacists and medical equipment suppliers are all capable of being charged with health care fraud. But what exactly is healthcare fraud? The state of California describes it as the prohibition of acts including, but not limited to:
- Charging for medical services that were not provided
- Ordering unnecessary treatments
- Performing unnecessary treatments
Anyone in the healthcare industry can be charged with these or similar fraud charges. Our skilled California healthcare fraud attorneys can help defend your case.
Insurance fraud in California is defined by attempting to obtain insurance payments or benefits of which you are not entitled to. There are many different types of California insurance fraud including:
- Automobile Insurance Fraud
- Health Care Insurance Fraud
- Medi-Cal Insurance Fraud
- Unemployment Insurance Fraud
- Welfare and Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Visit or call our San Diego law offices to learn more about how our expert insurance fraud lawyers can help!
Internet fraud is defined by the California legal system as any fraudulent activity that takes place via the internet or on a computer. Often referred to as “cybercrime,” this form of fraud is a growing charge that many defendants have to face. A few of examples of internet fraud include:
- Making fraudulent online purchases
- Computer virus creation and distribution
Internet fraud is often associated with identity theft, which also requires the representation of skilled San Diego attorney.
False Pretenses California Penal Code 532
This law comes up whenever a person has lied to someone else in order to influence him or her to give his or her property to him or her. There are four elements to be met in order for California Penal Code 532 to be satisfied. They are 1) Knowingly and intentionally deceive the person 2) Intent to influence someone to give up his or her property 3) The other person relied on the false pretense and 4) False token. False pretenses also includes statements made recklessly, failing to give information and making promises not intended to keep. There are two defenses to California Penal Code 532.
Intentionally deceive the person
Intent to influence
Relied on false pretense
The two defenses to California Penal Code 532 are 1) The person lacked intent to deceive or 2) The victim has not relied on the false statements in giving their property.
Under California Penal Code 532 the punishment given depends on the value of the property taken away. There are two different types 1) Petty theft and 2) Grant Theft Penalties
Bad Checks California Penal Code 476a
Writing a bad check is considered a crime in California. When the person issues a check knowing they do not have enough money in the account to cover the amount. In order to violate California Penal Code 476a three elements must be met. They are 1) Intentionally writing, delivering, or attempting to use a check 2) The person had knowledge there are not enough funds to cover the amount 3) The person had intent to defraud the person receiving the amount. There are five defenses to California Penal Code 476a.
Under California Penal Code 476a there are five most common used defenses. They are 1) The person acted under duress rather than intentional 2) The person reasonably believed there was enough funds in the account or the bank would cover the difference 3) The person communicated to the payee that there was not enough money in his or her account at the time the check was delivered 4) The person had good faith believe that the payee is not entitled to the money and 5) If someone else signed their name to a check that you personally own.
California Penal Code 476a is known to be a wobbler. That is this penal code can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. If it’s considered a misdemeanor the person will face a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a fine up to $1,000. If it’s considered a felony the person faces 16 months to three years in California state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Visit or call us for a free consultation today to learn more about California fraud laws and how our specialized California criminal defense attorneys can help with your case.
California Law for Fraud
A person is restricted from committing fraud in California. There are two ways a person could violate the fraud law in California. They are 1) The person accomplished an act that resulted to benefit to him or herself or 2) The act caused injury to another person. There are three common defenses to fraud in California.
The three common defenses to fraud are 1) The person had no intent to accomplish a fraud 2) Mistaken identity and 3) Entrapment.
Numerous fraud crimes are considered wobblers in California. The state can either charge a person with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the 1) the facts surrounding the situation and 2) The persons criminal history. Fraud crimes subject a person to fines and heavy jail times.
Auto Insurance Law California Penal Code Sections 548-551
Auto insurance fraud is when a person has accomplished to obtain money fraudulently from car insurance company. There are two elements to meet to satisfy auto insurance fraud in California and for the state to convict someone. They are 1) The person had knowledge that he or she turned in a fraudulent application to the car insurance company and 2) The persons state of mind was intentional. There are three common defenses to California Penal Code Sections 548-551.
California Penal Code 548
California Penal Code 549
California Penal Code 550
The three common defenses for California Penal Code Sections 548-551 are 1) The persons state of mind was not to defraud the auto insurance carrier 2) There was not enough evidence to convict the person of defrauding the auto insurance company 3) Plea bargaining.
Plea Bargaining Defense
The plea bargaining defense allows the person to plea guilty in return for a lesser offense and reduced jail time period. This is helpful tool for person’s harsh fraudulent charges to be reduced in exchange for their guilty plea.
Auto insurance penalties are considered to be wobblers in California, which means it could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on 1) The charges a person is facing 2) The facts surrounding the situation and 3) The persons past criminal history. If it’s a misdemeanor the person may face three possible penalties, which are 1) Probation 2) A maximums sentence of one year in county jail and 3) A fine up to $1,000, $10,000, $50,000 or twice the amount of the fraud, whichever is higher.
If its considered a felony the person could face four of the following 1) Probation 2) A maximum sentence of five years in California state prison 3) A fine up to $10,000, $50,000 or twice the amount of the fraud, whichever is higher 4) The taking of the persons health care license.
Additionally if its considered a felony, the judge may reduce it to a misdemeanor and discontinue the persons probation if the person obeys the terms and conditions of his or her probation for the first two years.