Authorities announced on Jan. 28 that several people in California were indicted for defrauding the state's workers' compensation insurance system. The 13 indictments were handed to medical providers, doctors and attorneys who had allegedly taken $500,000 in illegal kickbacks for workers' compensation claims. The alleged scam is reported to be one of the largest cases of fraud in the history of the California Department of Insurance.
According to a lawsuit that was filed on Jan. 8, City National Bank was involved in an ATM investment Ponzi scheme that was run by two California residents. The two individuals involved, ages 75 and 77, were both sentenced to federal prison for their roles. The lawsuit alleged that the bank assisted the scheme by bringing in investors and keeping fictitious checks from bouncing.
On Nov. 24, federal prosecutors in California announced that five people had been charged for participating in a $600 million health care kickback scheme. One of the accused individuals formerly worked as the chief financial officer for a hospital in California. Among the five accused people, two have already pleaded guilty, and three are expected to plead guilty.
A California woman charged with aggravated identity theft as well as conspiracy to commit bank fraud pleaded guilty to those charges on Nov. 17. She is one of four individuals charged in connection with the case.
Court documents show that a 47-year-old businesswoman started a kiting scheme in 2007, submitting fake customer details on checks to a payment-processing firm. When she received the advanced funds, she would cover up the debt with more fake customer data. For allegedly stealing over $4.65 million in six years, a California district court judge has sentenced the woman to federal prison.
When a corporation in California is accused of committing white collar crimes, its reputation is at risk. However, company executives can often work with prosecutors to develop nonprosecution agreements that include fines and corporate monitors. By agreeing to the terms of a nonprosecution agreement, the corporate parent company will not be required to plead guilty.
Readers may think of embezzlement as a crime that only business professionals can commit. The fact is, anyone entrusted with money that belongs to another party can be accused of embezzlement, a serious crime in California.