Orange County Criminal Defense

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California Fraud Attorneys

If you are facing fraud charges in Southern California, you need to hire an experienced fraud defense attorney to make sure you get the best representation possible. At our Newport Beach and Beverly Hills law offices, you will find a former Deputy District Attorney with the courtroom skills necessary to aggressively defend your rights.

There are different types of fraud charges. The most common fraud charges include credit card fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, identity fraud and welfare fraud.

Health Care Fraud

Health care fraud can be defined as any criminal conduct that relates to the health care industry, but the most common types of health care fraud involves billing fraud. Many medical providers, including doctor offices, hospitals and HMOs can be targeted for fraud investigations.

Billing fraud covers a wide range of conduct including:

  • Billing for services not rendered
  • Duplicate claims
  • Excessive or unnecessary treatment
  • Kickbacks
  • Unbundling
  • Upcoding of items and services

Other types of health care fraud include internet prescription fraud and auto accident insurance fraud. Internet prescription fraud involves fraudulent internet pharmacies that sell prescription drugs illegally or sell illegal controlled substances. The focus is whether these physicians are writing prescriptions outside of the doctor/patient privilege, for profit and for no legitimate medical purpose. Auto accident insurance fraud involves groups of individuals staging accidents and then presenting fraudulent health care claims.

Auto Insurance Fraud

Many law enforcement agencies are targeting auto body shops that engage in auto insurance fraud. In June 2010, the Orange County District Attorney’s office conducted an undercover sting operation that led to the arrests of 53 auto body repair workers and owners, all accused of insurance fraud. You can read more about the arrests in the OC Register. Fred Thiagarajah represented one of these individuals. Despite the fact that his client was caught on tape, Fred Thiagarajah got the charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and the client’s only penalty was a fine and an 8-hour educational class. The negotiated penalty didn’t even include probation.


Depending on the charges, fraud can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If it is charged as a felony, the maximum sentence is state prison. If it is charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year county jail. The District Attorney’s office will decide whether to charge the fraud charges as felonies or misdemeanors depending on the amount of fraud involved. An experienced fraud defense attorney will always seek to minimize your penalties and get you the best outcome possible. If you’re charged with a felony, we will do our best to get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, we will do our best to ensure no jail time. No matter what your circumstances, our job is to make sure you get the lowest penalties possible.

Other Consequences

Not only can a fraud conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences. Fraud crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which are crimes that relate to a person’s honesty. Having a fraud conviction can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job. Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks. A professional who has a fraud conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place. Perhaps the most severe impact of a theft conviction involves immigration consequences. Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors, with a visa, can be denied admission or naturalization or even deported, with a fraud conviction on their record.

The Right Attorney

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing criminal fraud charges. Many people who face fraud charges are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment. There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of fraud, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence. You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively. You need a former Deputy District Attorney like Fred Thiagarajah, who has the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients. For an example of his work, please see his case results and read his client testimonials. With offices in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah has criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

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