State Fraud Crimes

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Los Angeles Fraud Crimes Attorney

Los Angeles Fraud Crimes Attorney

Work With Top State Fraud Defense Firm – The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan!

White-collar crimes are typically investigated by multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, SEC, and IRS.

These cases usually involve extensive evidence collection with federal and state agencies combing through many years’ worth of financial statements, phone records, and other banking documents. These agencies use various tactics to gather the information needed to incriminate the target of the investigation.

The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan provide legal services for anyone in need of experienced white collar crime attorney services. Call for a free case review today: 424-901-3131.

Table of Contents

    Insurance Fraud

    Insurance fraud is when you change your insurance policy information to get unjustified benefits, as described in California Insurance Code Section 1871. The California PC 550(a)(1) makes it illegal to file false claims to an insurance company knowingly, whereas the California PC 550(b)(1) forbids making any lies or misrepresentations in your claims.

    There are various types of insurance fraud that are punishable under several California laws.

    Automobile Insurance Fraud

    You are violating California motor vehicle insurance fraud laws if you inflate your claim costs or stage an accident in an attempt to receive more money from an auto insurance company.

    Several laws govern California automobile insurance fraud crimes under California’s PC Sections 548–551. This includes purposely causing an accident or loss to receive compensation and filing multiple claims on one incident. You are also committing fraud when knowingly providing false information to secure payment from your auto insurance company.

    Unemployment Insurance Fraud

    Unemployment fraud is not allowed under the Unemployment Insurance Code 2101 and PC Section 550. This crime occurs when someone takes advantage of unemployment benefits, such as working while receiving them or collecting other types of compensation without reporting it.

    Workers’ Compensation Fraud

    Workers’ compensation covers an employee’s expenses if they suffer a workplace injury or illness. It’s considered a state crime under California Insurance Code 1871.4 to make false statements to receive workers’ compensation benefits or to aid someone else in receiving these benefits when they are ineligible.

    Identity Theft

    Identity theft is defined by PC 530.5 as the fraudulent acquisition of another person’s personal identifying information for your own use. This crime violates not only the fraud code but also identity theft and forgery codes.

    False Impersonation

    Falsely impersonating someone in a private or personal capacity and making the other person liable for crimes or money is illegal under PC 529. This can include signing a document in their name or receiving benefits using that person’s identity.

    Possessing a Fraudulent Public Seal, Forging, and Counterfeiting

    Forging, counterfeiting, or possessing a fraudulent public seal is unlawful under PC 472. Forging a public seal of a police department or any other form of government organization is also prohibited.

    Medical Fraud Crimes (Penal Code 550 PC)

    It’s a crime when physicians, medical staff, or patients intentionally submit false claims to insurance companies or government agencies. This happens when doctors or medical staff bill companies or agencies for unnecessary services. It also occurs when they upcode claims, charging for more expensive procedures or procedures the patient did not receive.

    Patients can also commit medical fraud by submitting fraudulent insurance claims. This includes submitting multiple claims for the same treatment and making false statements in a medical insurance claim.

    Health insurance fraud may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor in California based on the amount of fraud that’s occurred. A felony conviction will put a defendant in prison for 2, 3, or 5 years and a fine of $50,000 or double the amount of the fraud. You will be fined whichever amount is higher.

    If the claim involved in the fraud is valued at $950 or less, the defendant faces more lenient charges. In this scenario, the defendant faces up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. More information about California medical fraud crimes and associated penal codes.

    Bank Fraud Crimes (Penal Code 476 PC)

    Bank fraud occurs when a person uses illegal means or false representation to receive money or assets from a bank or financial institution. Under California law, bank fraud also refers to the attempt to obtain or divert money from a bank’s depositors by impersonating a bank or financial institution.

    Bank Impersonation

    Charges of bank impersonation occur if you pretend to be a financial institution by setting up a company or website to persuade others into depositing funds. Convictions of bank impersonation may include fines and up to 1 year in county jail.

    Forgery and Counterfeiting

    California law makes it a crime to falsify a signature or alter certain documents. This includes signing someone else’s name on a document, altering or falsifying records such as a last will and testament, and creating counterfeit documents like money orders, checks, or bonds. Forgery is punishable with up to 1 year in county jail. Counterfeiting convictions lead to sentences of 2, 3, or 4 years of imprisonment.

    Check Fraud

    Check fraud is a type of forgery. Under California PC 476, it’s illegal to possess, make, use of, or pass a fraudulent or altered check. Attempting to pass or use a fraudulent check is also a crime. Check fraud is a wobbler offense meaning the prosecutor decides whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony offense.

    Due to a new sentencing guideline in California, the current punishment for felony check fraud is 16 months, 2, or 3 years in county jail. A misdemeanor check fraud conviction imprisons defendants for up to 1 year in county jail.

    Loan Fraud

    A person who takes out a loan or mortgage under false pretenses will be charged with loan fraud in California. This includes using fake documents, forging information, misrepresenting assets, or using a false identity.

    Under California PC 532, defendants convicted of misdemeanor mortgage or loan fraud face up to 1 year in county jail. Felony sentences are steeper; you could face a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.

    Bank fraud cases that are more complex or involve a large number of victims will receive harsher penalties. The severity of the penalty also depends on the monetary value you obtained. You’ll face harsher penalties if your victims are from a protected class like the elderly or disabled communities.

    Money Laundering Fraud Crimes

    Money laundering refers to disguising income from an illegal source as being made legitimately. An example of this practice is making money from drug trafficking that you funnel through a business front to avoid attracting attention from the bank or government. If you have been charged with money laundering, contact The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan, federal white collar criminal defense firm.

    Money laundering in California is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Under PC Section 186.10, you may receive up to 1 year in county jail and court fines if you’re charged with a misdemeanor. If you’re charged with a felony, money laundering in California can result in up to 4 years in county jail and a maximum fine of $250,000 or double the amount of money laundered (whatever is higher).

    Tax Evasion

    It is illegal to intentionally pay less in taxes than what you owe. In California, this is called tax evasion, and it occurs when you under-report your income, lie on your tax return, or don’t file a tax return. This applies to misrepresentation of all income, purchases, and winnings from the lottery or gambling. California’s Revenue and Tax Code Sections 19705 and 19706 prohibit the misrepresentation and fraudulent information on personal and corporate tax returns.

    Penalties for tax evasion in California include up to 1 year in a county jail or state prison and fines of up to $50,000. California may require that you pay back taxes and place a lien on your property until you make payment. If you do not pay the back taxes you owe, the state can eventually seize your property.

    Contact a California Fraud Crimes Defense Attorney

    There are severe penalties for committing state fraud in California. The amount of money involved in the fraudulent crime leads to harsher prison sentences and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. If you’ve been charged with fraud, you need an experienced lawyer in your corner. The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan will review your case and put together a strong legal defense to achieve the best possible outcome.

    For more information about Los Angeles fraud crimes defense, schedule a free one-on-one consultation with Mariya Melkonyan at The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan. Our offices are located at 450 North Brand Blvd. Suite 600 Glendale, CA 91203. If you or a loved one are charged with any type of state or federal fraud crime, don’t hesitate to call Mariya directly as well at (424) 901-3131.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, failing to report any earnings or compensation you receive from other funds while filing for unemployment insurance is a crime. To avoid being charged with a crime, speak with an attorney to review your options.


    While it is illegal to impersonate another person by signing documents, prosecutors have to prove you intended to mislead others with your actions. If it was a simple mistake and you did not intend to defraud anyone, the action is unlikely to be perceived as criminal.


    No, it’s not legal. Your doctor committed health insurance fraud by up charging you for services they did not render. Under California PC 550, your doctor could be charged with fraud because services should be billed under the name of the provider who performed them unless following incident or reciprocal billing rules. (THIS IS NOT NEEDED AT ALL BECAUSE THIS IS FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME) Instead, add something related to identity theft or money laundering.


    Bank fraud can be charged as a federal or a state crime, depending on the case. Federal charges are reserved for more severe cases or when fraud occurs over state lines. In California, you can be charged with state bank fraud if you write or pass bad checks, commit fraud to obtain a loan or mortgage, or by forging documents.


    State Fraud Crimes Defense Attorney Mariya Melkonyan

    State and federal fraud crimes can be extremely stressful and overwhelming when you don’t have the right team defending your rights. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced state fraud crimes defense attorney for your case. At The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan, we always have our client’s best interest at heart. From the moment you contact us for a consultation, we start planning solid defenses for your case.

    Most clients feel ashamed, frustrated, and angry after being charged with a federal crime, but our legal team is here to reiterate that you, as a citizen, have basic rights, one of which is to hire an attorney.

    Before you speak to authorities, remember that you do not have to answer any questions without a lawyer present. Mariya Melkonyan is a former prosecutor who has tirelessly fought countless state fraud cases and can apply those same skill sets in your case.


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