An Orange County man pleaded guilty on Monday to a medical fraud scheme equaling about $2.3 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The man, who lived in the private community of Coto de Caza in Orange County, CA, faces up to 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the scheme, which allegedly targeted physicians and dentists.
Prosecutors alleged that the man ran a scheme involving two companies, M.D. Venture Partners and Technology Innovation Partners, wherein he persuaded medical professionals to invest by promising lucrative returns. The investments were to go toward new medical technologies, but according to prosecutors none of the investors' money was actually put toward new technology. Instead, prosecutors allege, the defendant used the money for personal expenses such as college tuition, luxury vehicles, shares in a football team and rent for his Coto de Caza home.
Authorities have alleged that more than 77 people lost about $2.3 million in the scheme.
The defendant was arrested in May 2013 after an FBI investigation and faces a sentencing hearing on November 24, 2014.
Fraud Charges in California
Fraud is a type of white-collar crime that may be defined as obtaining money or other benefits or valuables from another by way of deliberate deception. There are many different forms of fraud, and a defendant may be charged in state or federal court depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged scheme. A defendant may even face fraud charges if the intended scheme did not come to fruition; that is to say if the scheme was unsuccessful. As long as the scheme to defraud was devised and some step was taken toward its completion, a defendant may be charged with fraud.
In the case above, the defendant faced fraud charges in federal court. The mail fraud and wire fraud charges that he pleaded guilty to are extremely serious, involving the use of the U.S. postal system (mail) and television, radio or internet (wire) to carry out a scheme. Penalties for such offenses will vary depending on the intended targets and other factors, though the defendant in the above case is facing up to 40 years in prison. He is likely to face fines and victim restitution as well, as financial penalties are typically imposed in fraud cases.
Due to their often technical nature and the fact that complex financial transactions may have been involved, a skilled defense is of the utmost importance in the face of fraud charges. Like many other white-collar crimes, it may come down to computer forensics and the manner in which an investigation was conducted and evidence obtained. Effectively disproving the validity of physical evidence presented by the prosecution may help a criminal defense lawyer secure a dismissal before a case even goes to court.
Every case is different, and results cannot be guaranteed. That is why we recommend acting quickly and consulting with an Orange County criminal defense attorney at our firm if you are under investigation for, have been arrested or have been charged with any type of fraud. It is never too early to get started in building an aggressive defense against such allegations or charges; the earlier your attorney is able to get started, the more likely it is to reach a positive result.
Call our offices today to discuss your rights and options, and you can get the insight you need to make informed decisions about your case.