When it comes to disability fraud case the EDD is going to get involved and they have criminal investigators who will check into individuals who are claiming that they're hurt, they're not able to work and they're collecting money from the government. When you go and sign up to get disability compensation from the government, they make you sign all these forms. If you ever read these forms, you can't do a lot of things when you're collecting money from them.
So, if you're working in any way and you're collecting money from them and they're able to find out, they're going to come after you with both barrels. They're going to come after you to get their money. They're going to come after you to punish you. They're going to come after you criminally. They're going to be looking to mark your record. So, if you're involved in some sort of disability fraud, you're going to want to get a good criminal defense attorney immediately who can start taking some damage control measures to try to help you.
Paying The Government Back
One of the biggest things you can do to help yourself when it comes to a disability fraud case in Los Angeles is to be able to pay the money back. Obviously, the government is not losing thousands, not losing hundreds of thousands – they're losing millions of dollars for people making false disability claims.
This is how the government is unable to pay their bills, with stuff like this – money that's just being syphoned away from them by people who are claiming that their hurt and they're really not hurt, or people that they're claiming that they're not working and they really are working.
So, if you have one of these cases, obviously you're going to want to take it seriously, because another big problem is, it jeopardizes your future work potential. What type of an employer is going to hire you if you've got some sort of a fraud conviction on your record where you did jail or prison time?
Review of Your Case
That's something that's going to haunt you for a very long time. So, if you have one of these cases, what I do is, I have you come in the office, we go over everything. Obviously, I ask you to be honest with me because if you don't tell me some information that later comes out when I'm trying to defend you, it's not going to hurt me, it's going to hurt you because the prosecutors are going to be – you didn't know this?
This is what this person did. This is how much money this person took without being justified in taking it. So, obviously, it's private. Everything is protected by the attorney-client privilege, so once we get it all flushed out and we know exactly what happened, then we can really sit down and devise a plan on how we're going to deal with a disability fraud investigation. How we're going to deal with the case strategy while he's in court, what you can do damage control wise, what we're going to get – character letters. We're going to try to figure out a way to pay the money back – either all up front which would obviously be the best-case scenario or making payments on it.
It only makes sense that if you can't pay back the money that you took, the government or the prosecutors or the judge in the case is going to be left with no other choice but to punish you for that. In other words, if they're not getting the money back up front, then they're going to punish you for what you did and deter you from doing it again and they're still going to order you to pay it back.
It's still going to follow you around. They're just not going to get it right now, so they have no choice at least in their mind to punish you. So, really what we need to do is we need to sit down, dissect everything, get the pieces of the puzzle that we need and figure out what the best strategy is.
Defenses To Disability Fraud/Edd Fraud
Well, defenses are that you weren't working. That's one obvious defense when they're claiming that you were working, and you weren't collecting any money and they're not able to prove that. So, they're typically not going to file a case against you unless they have some sort of evidence, but I have seen cases where they've misconstrued the evidence or they've misconstrued the information that they have and once it's pointed out to them, obviously the prosecutors are smart, they're lawyers, they're going to look at everything and they're going to say, yeah, we're not going to be able to prove this case.
The defense attorney is going to destroy us in the trial, so we're going to get rid of it. If it's an honest mistake, then that's another thing that they will take into consideration. If there's some sort of horrible financial situation going on with you – a death in the family, some sort of medical issues – there's all sorts of things that can happen unfortunately in life, and people do things because they're desperate and I think these are things that the prosecutors will take into consideration when deciding how to deal with a particular person, or is the person just doing it out of greed.
So, you have the extremes there, and really depending on where you fall in that extreme and how good your defense attorney is, that's going to dictate what exactly is going to happen to you in your disability fraud case.