White-collar crimes are rampant across the United States – especially California. According to Statista, the Golden State lost more money to white-collar crime than any other state in the US, losing just over $400 million to fraud in the year 2020. This nearly doubled the next most affected state, Texas, which suffered $203.5 million in damages in the same year.
The Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America is well aware and concerned about the prevalence of white-collar crime and the amount of money that is lost every year in the state. With such a great amount of risk comes a need for those willing to stand up against offenders of these types of crimes. Okabe & Haushalter is here to not only divulge the realities of white-collar crime in California but offer support with one of our Los Angele white collar crime attorneys.
The University of California — Los Angeles is one of the most prestigious universities not only in the United States – but the world. Their list of alumni is stacked with an impressive repertoire of actors, directors, mathematicians, physicists, and musicians known to many. Its history is steeped in success and tales of top-tier education that competes with the likes of Oxford, Yale, and Princeton. Yet even in one of the most renowned universities of the modern era, a shortfall has recently come to light.
As residents of California look up to the institution as a source of pride, their confidence in it was severely eroded with the events of the college admission scandal when Jorge Salcedo of the men’s soccer team at UCLA pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail for taking bribes to admit students into the university by wealthy donors. After the passing of this event that occurred in 2019, many hoped to rebuild the reputation of the prestigious Southern California college by separating it from its white-collar controversy. This effort has faced a serious obstacle with a new scandal that has shaken up Los Angeles.
KTLA 5 of Los Angeles recently reported on findings by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office of another large, white-collar scandal at UCLA. Diana Fonseca of the history department at UCLA pleaded no contest to numerous felony charges of grand theft, yet admitted to the special allegation of aggravated white-collar crime.
Her influence was wide-reaching, claiming $336K of falsified purchases in reimbursements from the university. Fonseca was enabled through her role as a fund manager for her department at the university. Her faked travel claims and orders of materials for the department resulted in reimbursements from the university on grand scales. Once they were deposited into the history department’s account, Fonseca reportedly transferred them into her own personal checking account.
The resources the university spent on fighting against Ms. Fonseca resulted in a loss of money, despite the court’s order to pay back the department for the stolen money. This means that the university had less money to spend on its students and faculty. As a public servant, many are questioning the integrity of the institution that Diana Fonseca represented, citing her scandal and the previous as evidence.
This case and the shocking statistics of white-collar crime show the sheer potential of an individual’s need for defense in a case like this one. The unfortunate reality for many people is that institutions, organizations, and other entities may attempt to pin them with white-collar crimes to wrongfully claim damages. Luckily, Okabe & Haushalter are aware of the state of financial crimes in California, and are here to provide a Los Angeles white collar crime attorney, should you need one. If you would like to contact us, please call 310-430-7799 or click here to be redirected to our page where you can message us directly.