September 2017
Volume 2, Issue 9
Dear Friends:
I have the distinct privilege of serving as the top prosecutor in one of the nation’s most diverse counties.

We are fortunate to share in the rich and diverse cultures that make Los Angeles County a very special place to live, work and visit.

Read the full remarks  here .
Spotlight: Consumer Protection Division
When a retailer charged consumers more at checkout than the price advertised on the shelf, the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division worked to make sure that didn’t happen again.

The prosecutors and investigators in the division also stepped in when insurance companies deceived consumers about rate hikes, when ride-sharing companies misled the public, when people claiming to be immigration lawyers ripped off their clients and when a host of other crimes occurred that affected consumers’ wallets and safety.

The division was created in 1972 to handle criminal and civil business regulation cases. Since its inception, the division has been responsible for obtaining more than $100 million in victim restitution and civil and criminal penalties.

The prosecutors and investigators spring into action when presented cases of businesses that are accused of unlawful practices designed to take advantage of county residents. The division’s mission includes protecting consumers and ensuring that companies operate on a level playing field.

“The CPD has filed cases against some of the largest companies in the world in just about every type of business area imaginable,” said Stanley Williams, head deputy of the division, which has eight prosecutors and three investigators. “It is a wide range we cover, from unauthorized practice of law – illegal ‘notario’ cases – to addressing very large corporations.”

For example, when a national pharmacy chain was overcharging customers at checkout, the office filed a lawsuit. The $2.4 million settlement included an agreement by the company to ensure price accuracy and protect consumers from being overcharged for their purchases.

When insurance companies were touting “accident forgiveness” policies in California, the office reached settlements that required the companies to clearly say in advertisements that the policies are not available in the state.

The office also reached settlements with ride-sharing companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., regarding allegations that they misled the public about background checks for their drivers. Both companies are under permanent injunctions prohibiting them from making untrue or misleading statements about their background checks.

Williams said prosecutors in the division work hard to make sure that the settlements include measures that protect the public and force companies to correct their unlawful practices.

“It is ultimately our goal to make sure the conduct that led to the complaint is not repeated,” he said.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Seniors with deep religious or spiritual beliefs, particularly those in immigrant communities, should be aware of a hoax that exploits those ideas and can result in the loss of cash and valuables.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A vendor who submitted fake invoices and stole millions of dollars from the Los Angeles Unified School District was sentenced. Read about his punishment.

  • An Acton couple faces a total of 33 charges for abusing 26 dogs under their care. Learn more about this case.

  • A Pasadena man was charged with trying to kidnap a woman off the street. Read more about the allegations.
Watch the Blessing Scam Video in Cantonese and Mandarin
Deputy District Attorney Duke Chau explains the Blessing Scam in Cantonese.
This video in Mandarin explains how crooks trick seniors with the Blessing Scam.
The D.A. Gathering
Current and former District Attorney's Office staff attended the D.A. Gathering on Aug. 26 to honor Ruth Forté, who is known as "The Matriarch of the D.A.'s Office.” Forté held several positions within the office from 1960 to 1990. She worked for six district attorneys, from William McKesson to Ira Reiner. "This has certainly been the most enjoyable day of my life," she   said about the celebration.
Ask a Healthcare Law Expert
Healthcare fraud is the county’s fastest growing and most insidious crime, according to Jennifer Lentz Snyder, head deputy of the Healthcare Fraud Division. She has faced the challenges of protecting law-abiding constituents from unscrupulous individuals who cheat the system. She provides insight on how this type of crime affects consumers and explains how you can protect yourself. 

What type of cases does your division prosecute?
We prosecute cases that involve workers’ compensation claimants who lie about their ability to work. We pursue premium fraud cases against businesses that underreport their payroll in order to lower their workers’ compensation costs. And we file charges against doctors and others who bill for medical services that weren’t provided.

How does this type of fraud affect consumers?
When people lie and cheat it impacts others in pretty profound ways. For example, consumers may experience skyrocketing insurance premiums or a decrease in benefits. But it’s not just about the cost of these crimes in terms of dollars, it’s also about maintaining the integrity of the systems designed to help injured workers get back to being productive and those with illnesses or disabilities to get the help they deserve.

How do people protect themselves from this kind of fraud?
We work hard to remind people that these are cases that deserve to be reported and pursued. One way to figure out if fraud is occurring is to be proactive. When you get an explanation of benefits on your private healthcare bill, look at it. See whether the services that are being billed are services you actually received.

If people are defrauded, who should they contact?
Report it to your insurance company or contact the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office at (213) 257-2350 or .
Did You Know...?
Since 1993, prosecutors, investigators and other members of the District Attorney’s staff have volunteered one hour a week to teach fifth-grade students about the criminal justice system and the importance of making good decisions. Nearly 200 volunteers are returning to the classroom this month to mark Project LEAD’s 25 th anniversary. Since its inception, Project LEAD facilitators have touched the lives of approximately 33,300 young people.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 |

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