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Category Archives: 47O Identity Theft Victories

State v. Ms. B (DMC No. 11862) – Felony Fraudulent Schemes, (2 Counts) Acquisition of a Dangerous Drug by Fraud & Identity Theft – Reduced to Solicitation Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor with 6 Months Probation and Zero Days in Jail –Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2013-002734).

Ms. B worked in a Doctor’s office as a medical assistant. She routinely would call in scripts on behalf of clients to various pharmacies. She was pressured into calling in some scripts for a coworker for various opiates. In addition, she called in a prescription for herself for an appetite suppressant. This was all done without the knowledge of the Doctor and in violation of ARS 13-3407, Acquisition of a Dangerous Drug by Fraud. It also qualified as a Fraud Scheme per ARS 13-2310 and Identity Theft per ARS 13-2008.

The Doctor found out about the scheme when she was called by Walgreens and the pharmacist asked if she normally prescribed this many pills (60) in a refill of Tramadol. The Doctor had no idea what the pharmacy was talking about and Phoenix Police Department was contacted. Eventually the Arizona Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud and Abuse sections became involved, and an Investigator contacted Ms. B. Ms. B was interviewed with her boss/doctor present and she was never read her Miranda rights. She admitted to what had happened. She was then charged with Fraud Schemes, 2 Counts of Acquisition of a Dangerous Drug by Fraud, and ID Theft.

We became involved in the case and we informed the Prosecutor that it was the other coworker who was coercing Ms. B. into calling in prescriptions. The other coworker never cooperated with investigators, and we discovered that she had been convicted of Identity Theft in the state of New Jersey. Ultimately, we presented detailed Mitigation to the Prosecutor and they agreed to offer a plea to a single count of Solicitation, which is a Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor. She received 6 months of Probation and Zero Days in Jail. After 6 months of Probation, she had the case designated a Misdemeanor.

Unfortunately, her conviction qualified under 42 USC 1320(A)(7) and 42 CFR 1001.101(C). This means that Ms. B. was excluded from participation in any capacity (including employment) regarding Medicare, Medicaid and all Federal Healthcare Programs as defined under section 1128 B(F) of the Social Security Act for a minimum statutory period of five years. This includes any state healthcare program which is funded by Federal money. The exclusion had a significant effect on her ability to work in the healthcare field. However, because her conviction was designated a Misdemeanor, she had the ability to challenge the exclusion which was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.

State v. Ms. R (DMC No. 14569) – Felony Embezzlement ($50,000 Misappropriated from Interior Design Business), Felony Fraudulent Schemes, Felony Theft, Felony Identify Theft, Felony Forgery and Felony Obtaining a Credit Card by Fraudulent Means – Not Charged – Phoenix Police Department Investigated (DR No. 20XX-XXXXXXX3).

Ms. R was employed as a bookkeeper/personal assistant to the owner of an interior design business. She had access to all information regarding the business, and access to the checking accounts in order to pay business expenses. She was accused of using 3 different bank accounts and obtaining 5 different credit cards fraudulently by assuming the identity of the owner. Over the course of three years, she allegedly embezzled over $50,000.

We were brought into the case and we began defending Ms. R. We contacted the interior design business owner’s husband who was a licensed attorney in Arizona. We were able to demonstrate that some of the credit cards obtained were actually in our client’s name, and those were used actually to pay business expenses. The itemized business expenses on the credit card were then paid by company check. What became problematic was demonstrating other credit cards taken out in the owner’s name had a forged signature on the application in violation of ARS 13-2102. The owners ultimately filed a police report with the City of Phoenix. We had always contended that this was actually a civil matter, and not a criminal matter, and ultimately the Phoenix Police Department did not forward the case onto the County Attorney’s Office for charging. No criminal charges were ever brought against Ms. R. If they had been, and if she were convicted of all charges, she would have faced well over a decade in prison. As it finalized, no criminal charges were ever brought against Ms. R and she has no criminal record.

Federal Conspiracy to Commit Identify Theft Not Charged – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 13853) (FBI Investigated): Mr. D was employed by Danny’s Family Car Wash as a General Manager of the auto glass division.  In a high profile case commenced by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona a 32 co-defendant indictment was issued.  Mr. D was not one of those listed on the indictment, however, there were rumblings that he might be implicated.  The case involved the employment of hundreds of illegal immigrants who were willingly being hired using fake ID’s in order to gain employment and pass the e-verify test.

We were able to speak with the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who were working the case and determine that Mr. D was not a target. We were able to demonstrate that he had no knowledge of the hiring practices of Danny’s Family Car Wash.  He merely ran the auto glass division, which employed almost exclusively English speaking U.S. residents.  Ultimately, he was not charged with Conspiracy to commit ID Theft and he has no charges on his record.

Felony Issuing Bad Checks ($5,000) Felony Identify Theft & Felony Forgery Not Charged – State v. Mr. T (DMC No. 14202) (Pinal County Sheriff’s Office DR14-0130179): Mr. T worked for a well known national bank as a teller.  After his last day on the job, he was contacted by the fraud department claiming he had written multiple checks from different businesses totaling $5,000.  He immediately retained our services and we contacted the banks fraud department.  We also contacted the lead detective of the Pinal County Sherriff’s Office.

We then prepared a Trebus letter, which we sent to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office should they proceed by way of Grand Jury.  We requested that our client would like to make a statement, and the Grand Jury be told this, in fact, was going to happen.  After presenting our objections to the bank and to the Detective, the Detective requested more information from the bank.  The bank’s Investigator could not provide further information or handwriting samples which would support their claim.  No charges were brought against Mr. T.

(8 Counts) Felony Identity Theft, (4 Counts) Felony Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, (8 Counts) Felony Forgery & (4 Counts) Felony Presentment of False Instrument for Filing Reduced to Probation and Zero Days in Jail – State v Mr. M (DMC No. 11311) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2012-006755): In 1972, Mr. M was 17 years old and ran away from home from Florida to California, where he assumed a different name.  He went and got his social security card when he got his first job and always left it under the assumed name.  He was later convicted of multiple misdemeanor sex crimes in the Phoenix City Court, and was required to Register as a Sex Offender per Arizona Revised Statue ARS 13-3821.  He had done so for years under the pseudonym.

In 2011, he changed his name back to his birth name.  This was done with the assistance of an “enumeration expert” with the Sex Offender Registry. She had told him he could change his name as long as he never went back to using his fake name, and she did not inform him that he had to re-register the new name within 72 hours of the change. Later, Mr. M was on unemployment and was collecting benefits under his old name.  He ultimately was arrested and charged with multiple counts of Forgery based on the Sex Offender Registration forms that he originally signed, and based on his employment verifications he signed on jobs he had worked at throughout the years.  He was also charged with Taking the Identity of another, Presentment of False Instruments and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender during the course of various moves during his lifetime.  We were able to show the Prosecutor that throughout the course of Mr. M lifetime he had never committed any other types of sex crimes (over the previous 50 years). In addition, he had always paid taxes and tried to comply with the law.  Although he was facing the rest of his life in prison if he were tried and convicted on all charges, we were able to secure a deal to Probation with zero days in jail.

ILLEGALLY CONDUCTING an ENTERPRISE/RICO ($251,000), FRAUDULENT SCHEMES, PARTICIPATING in a CRIMINAL SYNDICATE, (20 COUNTS) FORGERY, (9 COUNTS) IDENTITY THEFT & (14 COUNTS) FRAUDULENT PREPARATION of TAX RETURNS REDUCED to 1 COUNT of POSSESSION of a FORGERY DEVICE (Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor) with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Ms. D (DMC No. 8354) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2007-008286): Ms. D’s father owned a tax preparation business that she worked for. Her father and his wife would meet numerous clients and sign them up for tax services. It appeared that her father was receiving falsified Social Security cards and other false documents in order to file fraudulent tax returns. After their returns were prepared, Ms. D’s father would ask her to sign his signature on the returns themselves.  This resulted in over $1,000,000 of loss in tax revenue.

Although Ms. D and both her parents were indicted along with other co-conspirators, she had no direct information that these were fraudulent returns. Through Forensic Accounting, hand writing experts and numerous interviews we were able to show that she was an innocent pawn in the fraudulent scheme. Her father ended up being sentenced to prison, and Ms. D had all 46 counts reduced to a single count of Possessing a Forgery Device (i.e. holding a pen that signed her father’s names to the returns) in exchange for Probation with no jail. When she completed probation, that one charge was converted to a Misdemeanor. Ms. D has no felony on her record.

TRAFFICKING and STOLEN PROPERTY ($1,200), IDENTITY THEFT and FORGERY REDUCED to PROBATION with 60 DAYS of DEFERRED JAIL– State v. Ms. A (DMC No. 9789) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2010-123488): Ms. A had been living with her boyfriend when she stole his gun and sold it to a local pawn shop. When she did this, she used a stolen driver’s license and posed as a different female. Ultimately, the boyfriend reported the gun stolen, and it was traced back to the person whose identity was stolen. This person informed police that her license had been stolen, and they pulled up a videotaped in the pawn shop. The victim immediately recognized Ms. A, and she was charged with Identity Theft, Trafficking and Stolen Property and Forgery. We were able to have all charges reduced to Probation with 60 days of “Deferred” jail. Because she performed well on Probation, the jail was ultimately Deleted, and she did not spend any time in custody.

NOT CHARGED | IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD FORGERY – (DMC No. 10014) (Tempe Police Department): Ms. B. was accused of forging a letter from her son’s previous employer and sending it to his current employer. The letter claimed that Ms. B.’s son was under investigation for possible theft. Ms. B. was very upset at her son for previous acts that he had committed. We were able to work with all parties involved and the police department and prevent any charges from being filed. If charges were filed, Ms. B. would have been charged with identity theft and forgery (for falsifying the signature on the letter of the store manager) and she could have faced several years in prison.

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