Insurance fraud is one of the most common types of white collar crime; however, a recent task force in Orange County uncovered an unusually expansive network of fraudsters in the sober living industry through a series of arrests this week as reported by NBC Los Angeles. Though white collar crime is often looked at as a lesser offense, the impact on the lives of its victims is very real, as are the potential punishments faced by those accused.
A Risky, Expensive Fix for Sobriety
So what was the fraud? Individuals who were seeking to improve their lives through sober living were targeted for an expensive, unnecessary, and experimental surgery that was supposed to block opioid receptors in the patients. The fraud involved a network of 11 individuals, including doctors, executives, and others, who then charged insurance companies for the procedure.
Four of the individuals are charged with recruiting patients for the experimental surgery across the sober living community. Once recruited, patients were funneled to doctors who advised them and performed the surgery, for an alleged total of $6.8 million in fraudulent claims. Not only is the risky procedure for blocking opioid receptors not federally approved, but many of the patients coached into receiving it were methamphetamine users who did not use opioids to begin with.
Severe Punishments for White Collar Crime
The individuals charged in this case are facing serious penalties, including hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines and years in prison. This severity of these charges is compounded by the size of the financial fraud and the medical malpractice involved.
Though many people think that white collar crimes carry lighter sentences, that is often not the case. It is essential that individuals charged with fraud or other white collar crimes obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend them in court. If you are facing fraud charges in Southern California, the Law Offices of Brian A. Newman can help protect your rights. Call our offices today at (424) 275-4014 to set up a free initial consultation.