Big Brother District Attorney Is Watching You

By Lawrence Wolf, Attorney at Law

State and federal agencies, along with the implementation of more effective communication devices has resulted in the enforcement of insurance fraud in multiple folds states Los Angeles District Attorney Loren Naiman, assigned to the Special Insurance Fraud Task Force. We now meet at least once a month to discuss leads in addition to jointly targeting individuals. Im currently working with a task force involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Postal Department, Department of Insurance, Los Angeles Police Department, and the State Bar of California. There will be more MAJOR arrests before years end.

Los Angeles County is the fraud capitol of the world states Los Angeles District Attorney Lenny Schaeffer, although the fraud is tending to move out of Los Angeles County into surrounding areas. Were still working on cases and theyre still coming in.

How does a suspected insurance fraud case come to the attention of state and federal authorities? First, say: Loren Naiman, all insurers have Special Investigative Units (SIUs) to investigate fraudulent claim practices. These SIUs send in documents on suspicious activities, developing leads in other cases. Second, we get cold calls from the public and recently, have received numbers of calls from attorneys who just realized their offices had been taken over by people signing their names. Third, a disgrun led client or just a plain snitch says Lenny Schaeffer.

Whether an insurance fraud case is prosecuted federally or locally, is by agreement, whichever route maximizes punishments. Once an attorney is caught up in the alleged fraudulent loop, full disclosure and cooperation with the authorities may affect criminal liability and the threat of disbarment.

Assume an attorney is involved in insurance fraud, he does not know if he is a target, but players around him are dropping like flies and he wants to minimize his exposure. Lenny Schaeffer devises that, generally we tell them about a standard letter that we offer, taking a statement under oath agreeing that it cant be used against them except for impeachment and for the purpose of perjury. However, the attorney must agree that any evidence developed independently can be used against them. Looking at all the evidence, we have some type of plea agreement can be worked out perhaps avoiding debarment.

NEVER attempt to contact the District Attorneys office or any investigative agency directly. It is critical to use and experienced legal counsel who is also familiar with all of the players.

Capping is illegal in California having someone who goes out to sign people up is not. Keep an eye on whos coming into your office. Review your files, look for patterns, similarities, inconsistencies cautions both Naiman and Schaeffer.

Lawrence Wolf is a sole practitioner with a criminal law office in Century City. A Judge Pro-Tem and successful criminal attorney, featured speaker and talk show host, Mr. Wolf is a recognized expert on criminal law, consumer fraud, juvenile justice and drunk driving.

Criminal Law Insurance Fraud Telephone Checklist

  • Bad Deviation/Commissioner
    L.A. (213) 351-5151
  • O.C.
    (714) 834-4793 6AM-3PM
    (714) 647-4581 after 3PM
  • O.R. Release
    L.A. (213) 974-5821
  • L.A. County Jail
    (213) 780-2600
  • Sheriffs Crime Lab
    (213) 974-4647
  • L.A.P.D. Crime Lab
    (213) 237-0058
  • Consumer HOTline
    (800) 927-HELP (in California)
  • Department of Insurance Fraud Division
    (213) 278-5000
  • State Fund Fraud Hotline for Workers Compensation Fraud
    (800) 683-7283
  • Work Release
    (213) 974-0124


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