In a case that involves alleged fraud and deception, an Orange County woman and three others have been arrested on an indictment accusing them of running a health care business scam worth millions of dollars. The woman, Tammy Le, along with Macy Zia, Galen Clark, and Chris Ruiz, are facing charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. According to the indictment, the defendants deceived lenders and investors by making false claims about the success of their health care business, leading to substantial financial losses and bankruptcy. The FBI is currently investigating the matter, with Assistant United States Attorneys prosecuting the case.
Arrest and Indictment
Arrest of Tammy Le and three others on indictment
Tammy Le, the former owner and CEO of CareAccess MSO Inc., along with three other individuals, has been arrested on a nine-count federal grand jury indictment. The indictment alleges that the defendants defrauded lenders and investors out of millions of dollars by falsely claiming that Le’s struggling health care business was thriving. Le was taken into custody without incident, and the other defendants were also arrested.
Charges against the defendants
All four defendants are facing a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Additionally, Le, Zia, and Ruiz are being charged with six counts of wire fraud, while Clark, who allegedly joined the conspiracy later, is charged with three counts of wire fraud. Le is further charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of money laundering.
Expected court appearances
Le and Zia are expected to make their initial appearances in United States District Court in Santa Ana later today. Clark and Ruiz are scheduled to make their initial court appearances this afternoon in federal court in downtown Los Angeles. These court appearances mark the beginning of the legal process for the defendants, where they will be formally informed of the charges against them and have an opportunity to respond.
Allegations of Fraudulent Activities
The alleged fraudulent scheme
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to fraudulently obtain money from victims by misrepresenting the scope of CareAccess’ business and its anticipated revenue. They deceived one victim company into loaning money to CareAccess and another victim company into acquiring Le’s company. The indictment alleges that neither victim was aware of the actual financial state of CareAccess.
Obtaining money through false representations
As per the indictment, Le orchestrated a contract between CareAccess and a finance company based in New Jersey. The finance company would provide loans to CareAccess in exchange for rights to collect against the company’s accounts receivable. The defendants allegedly induced the lender by making false statements about CareAccess’ business performance and provided fake invoices and inflated spreadsheets to support their claims. These fraudulent documents led to the lender loaning approximately $6.1 million to CareAccess.
Victims of the scam
The indictment highlights the two victim companies that were deceived by the defendants. One victim company loaned money to CareAccess based on false information about the company’s performance. The other victim company was lured into acquiring CareAccess through fraudulent reports that inflated its business performance and customer base. These victims suffered financial losses as a result of the defendants’ alleged fraudulent activities.
Fraudulent Loans and Lender Deception
Contract with a finance company
Le allegedly executed a contract between CareAccess and a finance company from New Jersey. The contract allowed the finance company to provide loans to CareAccess in exchange for the right to collect against the company’s accounts receivable. This arrangement provided CareAccess with necessary funds but also opened the door for fraudulent activities.
False statements and fake invoices
To secure loans from the finance company, the defendants allegedly made false statements about CareAccess’ business performance. They provided fake copies of invoices that looked like they were issued by CareAccess to independent physician associations (IPAs). These invoices were accompanied by spreadsheets that inflated the number of patients enrolled with the IPAs, leading to an exaggerated amount of fees due to CareAccess and a higher loan amount from the finance company.
Wiring loans to a controlled bank account
The defendants, particularly Le, allegedly orchestrated the wiring of approximately $6.1 million in loans from the finance company to a bank account controlled by Le. By diverting the wired funds to her bank account, Le effectively misused the loans meant for the legitimate operations of CareAccess. This unauthorized redirection of funds played a significant role in the alleged fraudulent scheme.
Misrepresentations for Acquisition
Soliciting a healthcare investment company
Starting in November 2020, the defendants expanded their fraudulent activities by soliciting a health care investment company based in Utah. Their goal was to secure an investment that would eventually lead to the acquisition of CareAccess. The defendants presented fraudulent reports to the investor, inflating CareAccess’ business performance and customer base.
Inflated reports and misrepresentations
To entice the health care investment company, the defendants provided reports that misrepresented the actual business performance and customer base of CareAccess. These reports painted a false picture of a thriving business, leading the investor to provide approximately $12.7 million for the acquisition.
Misuse of funds after the acquisition
Once the acquisition was complete, CareAccess filed for bankruptcy protection. This raised suspicions about the validity of the claims made by the defendants regarding the financial health of the company. The indictment alleges that a substantial portion of the funds provided by the investor, totaling $2.2 million, was directed to Le’s personal bank account for personal use. The defendants’ misuse of funds further highlights the alleged fraudulent nature of their activities.
Bankruptcy and Legal Proceedings
CareAccess’ bankruptcy protection
Following the acquisition, CareAccess filed for bankruptcy protection. This legal protection allows the company to reorganize its affairs and address its financial challenges. The bankruptcy filing raises questions about the financial stability of CareAccess and adds an additional layer of complexity to the legal proceedings against the defendants.
Indictment as an allegation
It is important to note that an indictment is merely an allegation and not a determination of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The indictment serves as the formal accusation of the defendants’ involvement in the alleged fraudulent activities. The subsequent legal proceedings will determine the outcome and potential penalties if the defendants are found guilty.
Investigation and prosecution of the case
The FBI is actively investigating the alleged fraudulent activities of the defendants. Financial fraud cases require thorough investigation to gather evidence and build a comprehensive case against the accused individuals. Assistant United States Attorneys Valerie L. Makarewicz and David H. Chao of the Major Frauds Section are prosecuting this case. Their expertise in handling major fraud cases ensures the prosecution is conducted effectively and with a focus on justice.
The Role of the FBI
The FBI’s involvement in the investigation
The FBI, as a federal law enforcement agency, plays a crucial role in investigating and combating financial fraud cases. In the case against Tammy Le and the three others charged with the alleged multimillion-dollar health care business scam, the FBI has taken on the responsibility of conducting a thorough investigation. Their efforts are aimed at uncovering evidence, identifying the extent of the fraudulent activities, and building a strong case for prosecution.
Responsibilities of the FBI in financial fraud cases
Financial fraud cases require specialized skills and expertise to unravel complex schemes and understand the intricacies of fraudulent activities. The FBI is responsible for investigating and uncovering the truth in these cases. Their responsibilities include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, analyzing financial records, and working closely with prosecutors to build a strong case against the accused individuals. The FBI’s involvement ensures that the financial fraud allegations are thoroughly examined and that justice is served.
Assistant US Attorneys and Prosecution
The prosecuting team handling the case
Assistant United States Attorneys Valerie L. Makarewicz and David H. Chao are leading the prosecution of the case against Tammy Le and the three other defendants. Their roles as Assistant US Attorneys involve presenting evidence, arguing the case in court, and ensuring a fair and just legal process for all parties involved.
Roles of Valerie L. Makarewicz and David H. Chao
As members of the Major Frauds Section, Makarewicz and Chao bring specialized knowledge and experience in prosecuting major fraud cases. Their expertise helps ensure that the allegations against the defendants are thoroughly evaluated, and any potential legal consequences are appropriately pursued. Makarewicz and Chao work closely with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to build a strong case and hold the defendants accountable for their actions.
Prosecution of major fraud cases
Prosecuting major fraud cases requires a high level of skill, attention to detail, and a commitment to justice. These cases often involve complex financial schemes, extensive evidence, and multiple defendants. The prosecution’s primary objective is to present a compelling case that proves the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Makarewicz and Chao, as experienced prosecutors, are well-equipped to handle the intricacies of the case against Tammy Le and the three other defendants.
Contact for Public Information Officer
For further information or to request additional details about the case, interested individuals can contact the Public Information Officer, Ciaran McEvoy. As the designated point of contact, McEvoy can provide relevant updates and address inquiries related to the ongoing investigation and legal proceedings.
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Updated information about the case
As the case progresses and new developments arise, interested individuals can stay informed by contacting Ciaran McEvoy or referring to official sources for updated information. It is vital to rely on accurate and verified information to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the case and its outcome.
Related Financial Fraud Cases
Barbados resident charged with a stock scam
In another financial fraud case, a Barbados resident has been charged with running a stock scam. The individual allegedly posed as an Ivy Leaguer with Wall Street experience to deceive investors and cause losses of approximately $3.1 million. The case highlights the prevalence of fraudulent activities in the financial sector and the importance of robust investigations and prosecutions to protect individuals and businesses from falling victim to such scams.
Sentencing of a money laundering ringleader
A New York City man has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for leading a money laundering ring that profited from romance scams and other fraudulent schemes. The sentence serves as a reminder of the severe consequences that await those involved in financial fraud. Law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with prosecutors, are actively working to dismantle and prosecute organized financial fraud networks.
Charges against individuals in a mortgage scheme
Two Orange County residents have been charged with running a $2.2 million scheme that deceived banks into cashing out victims’ mortgages. The case highlights the vulnerability of homeowners and the importance of thorough due diligence by financial institutions to prevent fraudulent activities. These charges serve as a deterrent and demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement and prosecutors to combat financial fraud in all its forms.
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