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    Los Angeles White Collar Crime Defense Lawyers

    Defending Californians who have been charged with White Collar Crimes

    A “white collar crime” is a non-violent crime committed to achieve financial gain. They are often committed by professionals who are in a position of trust, such as bankers, lawyers, government officials, politicians, or financial advisors.

    White collar crimes encompass such offenses as fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, bribery, computer crimes, and RICO crimes. If you are charged with and convicted of a white collar criminal offense, you may face prison time, fines, home detention, community confinement, or forfeiture. In addition, a court may order you to pay restitution to the crime victim.

    The experienced California white collar crime defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can offer you skilled representation throughout your criminal case and can assert a strong legal defense on your behalf. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

    Defining White Collar Crimes

    In order for a criminal offense to be labeled a white collar crime under the California Penal Code, it must ordinarily involve deceit, abuse of trust, or concealment. It must not involve any use of physical force, violence, or threat of physical force.

    Fraud Crimes
    White collar fraud crimes include real estate and mortgage fraud, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, and Medicare fraud:

    • Real estate and mortgage fraud – Real estate and mortgage fraud may involve many different individuals, from lenders and mortgage brokers to private homeowners. Mortgage fraud includes fraudulent loan modifications and refinancing. A homeowner may commit mortgage fraud if he or she uses false information on a home loan application, in order to obtain the necessary financing.
    • Insurance fraud – A person may be charged with insurance fraud if he or she presents a false or inaccurate claim for benefits. Insurance fraud may involve homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, casualty insurance, health insurance, or life insurance.
    • Workers’ compensation fraud – Workers’ compensation fraud charges usually come about when someone intentionally files a false claim or an employer wrongfully denies employee benefits. Medical providers and pharmacies can also be on the hook if they wrongfully inflate their bills.
    • Medicare fraud – Many Medicare fraud cases arise because of fraudulent billing “up-coding” for procedures which a Medicare patient did not, in fact, receive. Many individuals can be accused of Medicare fraud, including doctors, hospitals, and medical product providers.

    A fraud conviction can result in fines, jail time, and/or probation. The accused could also be charged with civil fraud and may have to pay restitution to the alleged victim.

    If you have been charged with one of these types of fraud, you should contact the experienced California white collar crime lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley as soon as possible. Our skilled team of lawyers can review your charge with you and immediately set to work defending your legal rights.


    In addition to the various types of fraud charges under California law, forgery is another type of white collar crime. Under PC 740, order to be charged with forgery, one of the following must occur:

    • You sign someone else’s name to a certain document without that person’s consent.
    • You wrongfully sign the name of a fictitious person to a document.
    • You make unauthorized changes to a legal contract or other document.
    • You falsify a legal document in any way.
    • You offer as true a legal document or item, knowing full well that it has been illegally falsified, forged, altered, or counterfeited.

    In order for the State of California to demonstrate that a person committed forgery, the prosecutor must show that the person specifically intended to defraud someone else. In many cases, this means that the defrauded person would lose goods, money, services, or something else of value. It might also mean that the fraudulent behavior resulted in damage to a financial, property, or legal right.

    The prosecutor does not need to show that the forgery actually occurred. Rather, the intent to defraud is sufficient in order for the crime to be complete.

    In California, the prosecutor has the discretion to bring a forgery charge as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. The crime is classified as a misdemeanor if the alleged victim lost under $950. If the amount lost exceeds $950, the crime is a felony. Felony forgery can result in up to three years in jail, a fine of at least $10,000, or both. Misdemeanor forgery can result in one year of incarceration and/or a fine of at least $1,000. In any case, the accused may have to pay restitution to the alleged victim.

    The experienced white collar crime defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley may be able to help you obtain a favorable plea deal with the prosecutor or a reduction in your criminal charge.


    Counterfeiting is also prohibited by PC 470. The law defines it as fraudulently altering, manufacturing, or distributing some product that has a lower value than the actual, genuine product. In order for the prosecutor to demonstrate counterfeit, he or she must show that the accused had the specific intent to defraud. If the accused did not mean to defraud the alleged victim of something, then the prosecutor cannot meet the burden of proof, and a conviction cannot be obtained. Counterfeiting may involve both goods and money.

    Counterfeiting is a felony in the State of California. A conviction can result in two or four years of incarceration and/or a monetary fine of $1,000. If the accused has a history of criminal conduct related to counterfeiting, forgery, or some other white collar crime, the accused may receive an additional two to five years of jail time, in the form of a sentencing enhancement.


    Under PC 503, embezzlement occurs when someone (usually an employee) takes property entrusted to him or her (usually by an employer) and fraudulently misappropriates it. In order to receive a conviction for embezzlement, the accused must have intended to deprive the true owner of his or her property and must fraudulently convert the property.

    In the State of California, a prosecutor can bring embezzlement charges as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The accused can be charged with grand theft if the embezzled property’s value exceeds $950. If the value of the property is $950 or less, the embezzlement may be classified as petty theft.

    Misdemeanor grand theft can result in a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 maximum fine, while a felony grand theft can result in 16 months of incarceration – or two or three years in state prison – along with a maximum fine of $10,000. Misdemeanor petty theft can result in a maximum of six months’ incarceration, as well as a $1,000 maximum fine.

    Call a California White Collar Crimes Lawyer Today

    If you have been charged with a white collar crime in California, you may have several defenses available to you. For example, you may be able to defend on the grounds of mistaken identity – or you may be able to allege that the police engaged in unlawful duress or entrapment.

    Although white collar crimes are not crimes of violence, a conviction can land you in serious trouble. At the Law Offices of David S. Chesley, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to assist you with defending your case. Not only can our attorneys represent you in court, but they can also work with the California prosecutor assigned to your case in order to obtain a favorable plea deal.

    To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with our California white collar crime lawyers, please call us today at 1-800-755-5174, or contact us online.

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    Grand Theft

    The Penal Code in California defines the severity of an offense and punishments by the value of the object or property stolen, and in the manner, it is stolen from the owner of the property.

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    California’s penal code 211 defines robbery as the act of felonious taking of property or something of value from the possession of another person by force or fear.

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    Petty Theft

    The penal code 484 in California’s law defines petty theft as stealing, taking, carrying, or embezzling property or money of another person that is capped at $950.

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    California’s Health & Safety Code has many sections that deal with the various offenses related to Marijuana.

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    In California, Fraud or Larceny is a criminal act resulting in criminal charges against the person committing the offense.

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    Identity Theft

    The number of cases of identity theft in California is increasing day by day, and it has become a prevalent crime in this age of Information Technology.

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    Recent Results

    • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

    • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

    • Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

    • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

    • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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