Fraud Lawyer Los Angeles

Fraud or Embezzlement in Los Angeles

Los Angeles White-collar crimes typically involve business and professional individuals who have made bad choices. Simply because the evidence of white-collar crimes is often complicated financial records, it can be hard identifying who will be criminally responsible, and authorities may possibly accuse an innocent person.

These investigations often come to light before the authorities even being apprised by the victim. We could often intercede and stop the case from being known to the government for criminal prosecution. Several of these kinds of cases are usually filed in federal court and the stakes are certainly high.

Experienced Fraud Attorney Los Angeles

At our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm, our white-collar crime attorneys are intense negotiators and fierce litigators who can take care of complex, large evidence. We have many years of criminal law experience.

Los Angeles White Collar Crimes

Our white collar crime attorneys strongly defend our clients charged with or being investigated for a white collar crime. Some possible white collar crimes are the following:

* Bank Fraud
* Credit Card Fraud
* Healthcare Fraud
* Mail and Wire Fraud
* Insurance Fraud
* Embezzlement
* Real Estate Fraud
* Investment Advisory Fraud
* Pension Fraud
* Workers’ Compensation Fraud
* ERISA Fraud
* Stock Market Irregularities
* RICO Violations

Essential Elements of a Fraud Action Los Angeles

Deceit and fraud are described separately in statutes. Liability for actual fraud is limited to acts committed by or with the connivance of a party to a contract with the intention to deceive another party to the contract and induce that party to get into the contract.

Deceit: One who willfully deceives another with intention to induce the other to alter his or her position to his or her injury or risk is responsible for any damage suffered caused by the deceit. There exists 4 categories of deceit:

1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which isn’t true, by one who doesn’t believe it to be true, commonly known as intentional misrepresentation;

2. The assertion, as a fact, of that which isn’t true, by one who doesn’t have reasonable ground for believing it to be true, commonly referred to as negligent misrepresentation;

3. The suppression of a fact, by one who is bound to disclose it or who gives information of other facts which are likely to mislead for want of communication of that fact, commonly referred to as concealment; and

4. A promise, made without any intention of performing it, commonly referred to as false promise.

Actual Fraud: Actual fraud consists of any of the following acts, committed by or with the connivance of a party to a contract together with intent to deceive another party to the contract, or to induce the other party to enter into the contract:

1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;

2. The positive assertion, in any manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though the person making the assertion believes it to be true;

3. The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;

4. A promise made without any intention of performing it; and

5. Any other act fitted to deceive.

Constructive Fraud: Constructive fraud consists of any breach of duty which, without actual fraudulent intention, gets an advantage to the person in fault, or anyone claiming under the person in fault, by misleading another to the prejudice of the person misled, or to the prejudice of anyone claiming under the person misled.

Furthermore, constructive fraud includes any act or omission that the law specifically declares to be fraudulent, without respect to actual fraud.

Election of Remedies: A plaintiff who has entered into a contract in reliance upon the fraud of a defendant may elect either the contract remedy, consisting of restitution based on rescission of the contract, or the tort remedy, by affirming the contract and seeking damages.

A plaintiff can file a complaint expressing causes of action in both contract and tort, but may possibly be required to elect one remedy or the other at some point prior to judgment.

Standard Procedural Outline for Fraud Los Angeles:

No two cases are the same and procedures differ with the nature and intricacy of the legal and evidentiary challenges concerned. The next is a very general outline of the stages of a civil action.

Filing a Complaint
Every case starts with the filing and service of a Summons and Complaint. The Complaint will include more than one “causes of action” such as “Breach of Contract” or perhaps “Fraud”.

Service of Complaint
When the Summons and Complaint are already filed with the court, they need to be correctly served on the defendant(s). If the defendant(s) will accept the service, he/she can sign an Acknowledgment of Service. If not the documents should be formally served.

Response to Complaint
The Defendant(s) have thirty days starting from the date of service of the Summons and Complaint to serve on the Plaintiff(s) either an Answer for the Complaint or a pleading challenging the sufficiency of the Complaint. Responses challenging the sufficiency of the Complaint contain a motion known as a “Demurrer” and a “Motion to Strike”

Hearing of Challenges to Sufficiency of Complaint (If Applicable)
If the defendant(s) choose to file a demurrer or motion to strike, these motions have to be heard and ruled upon so the matter may continue. This could take up to two months. In case this kind of motion is sustained and the court grants leave to change the Complaint, a new complaint has to be drafted and served and the process starts again. Sometimes a second demurrer or motion will be filed leading to additional delays.

Once the Complaint and Answer have been filed both parties commence “discovery” procedures where the evidence necessary to prosecute both sides of the case. Depending on the nature and complexity of the case, a number of of the these discovery devices can be employed by the parties:

Interrogatories: Prepared questions that must be answered under oath.
Request for Production of Documents: Demands for presentation of documents by the parties involved.
Requests for Admission: Requesting the parties to state which allegations they affirm and which they deny.
Deposition: The parties might be required to appear in the opposing lawyer’s office to respond to questions under oath before a court reporter. Depositions can also be taken from third parties.
Subpoena Documents from Third Party: Documents may be subpoenaed from 3rd parties such as banks and employers.

Discovery Motions (If Applicable)
In case a party fails or refuses to comply with discovery requests, it may be necessary for the party propounding the finding to produce a motion in court to force answers. If the court permits the motion, additional responses will be made. In case those answers are still inadequate, another motion may be made and the court could sanction (fine) the resisting party. In extreme cases the court can even stop the action in support of the moving party.

Trial Setting
Throughout the case the court will set several Case Management Conferences to be attended by attorneys for all parties. These kinds of proceedings are designed to see whether the case is ready for trial. Once the court thinks that a case is ready for trial, it will set the date for trial and make orders about completion of discovery and final preparation for trial.

Settlement Negotiations
Settlement negotiations may continue throughout the trial. Usually the court will require the parties to take a mediation of the issues or will set a “Mandatory Settlement Conference” (MSC) prior to a trial date. Settlement negotiations generally become more intense as the trial date approaches.

The vast majority of cases work out before trial. If however the parties cannot settle down the case, the only method to fix the issues will be by means of trial.

Contact Information

Law Offices of Todd Melnik
20920-B Warner Center Lane
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Telephone: 818-995-7777