Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Los Angeles Politicians and White Collar Crime

Posted on: December 8, 2008 at 5:38 p.m.

The history of the City of Los Angeles is filled with stories of corruption among city officials, both law enforcement and elected officials. That history has been consistant, with a new controversy arising every few years. White collar crimes are the most common crime for a political official to be accused of, because of the money, power and relationships involved in politics. Los Angeles white collar crime attorneys know that such cases involve miles of paper work and countless hours of discovery and fact finding.

One such white collar criminal matter involves Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board Member Xavier Alvarez. Alvarez is accused of felony counts relating to illegally funneling health insurance benefits. Mr. Alvarez, who represents Pomona's first district on the board, is charged with 3 felony counts relating to illegally funneling health insurance benefits to his ex-wife for nearly $4,000. The charges include misappropriation of public funds, insurance fraud and grand theft.

Three Valleys Municipal Water District offers insurance coverage to board members and their dependents. According to Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth, Mr. Alvarez has not been married since March 4, 2002, 5 years before he received health coverage for his ex-wife. If charged on all counts, Mr. Alvarez could be sentenced to anywhere from felony probation with community service, county jail time or a maximum of 6 years in state prison. The Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws

Comments:

Yulanda Au, CS 174 on December 12, 2008 at 6:39 p.m. wrote:

People who commit white collar crimes probably hold the perception that no one will ever find out of their misdoing because it is not as serious a crime as maybe kidnapping or murder. That might partially be why these types of crimes are costing the United States so much money a year. It is rather distressing that people who hold so much power and authority to do good instead choose to commit crimes. White collar crimes create much distrust and uneasiness in the public


tatiana vardanyan on December 12, 2008 at 3:11 a.m. wrote:

Certain white collar crimes are only possible with one who upholds an honorable and powerful position in society such as the case of Mr. Alvarez. Questions concerning socioeconomic status, profession, connections, and psychological illnesses surface when faced with white collar crimes. I agree with the comment above regarding media exposure with such cases. Our society puts these powerful officials on a pedestal and any threat to our preconceived notions of our officials soars in outrage and issues concerning sentencing becomes ever so prominent and everyone feels entitled to voice their opinion on an appropriate punishment.


Nahal Hamidi on December 10, 2008 at 4:45 p.m. wrote:

The media thrives on white collar crimes similar to the way it thrives on celebrity crimes. Most recently, the case with Governor Blagojevich has received a lot of attention as it has exposed corruption in government at its worst. The reason the media covers these kinds of stories with such intensity is that the public holds government officials to high standards and when these kinds of crimes are made public, there seems to be a huge interest as to what kind of punishment they will be receiving and of course, the details of the crime(s)involved in the case. It is important that these government officials are given the same punishment that a normal citizen would be given and that they are not given harsher punishments or less severe ones, because of their stature. The jury trial system is an important tool in these kinds of cases in order to ensure that each case receives the justice and fairness it deserves and to prevent any bias from judges.









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