Professional fraud isn’t a specific criminal charge but rather an entire category of white-collar crimes. It might include a doctor diagnosing someone with a condition they know the patient doesn’t have to charge for expensive treatments. It could also involve someone in the financial industry just running a Ponzi scheme where they defraud investors.
When professionals lie about the services they will provide, the public often suffers as a result. Those who get caught after lying to consumers and misrepresenting their professional services could potentially face charges ranging from health care fraud to wire fraud.
There will be financial penalties and potential incarceration associated with those charges. However, rather than pleading guilty to quickly move on with your career after accusations of professional fraud, you may need to defend yourself, especially when you consider the non-criminal consequences below.
The loss of your licensing
Professionals ranging from medical workers to financial advisors may require certain California state licensing and potentially membership in professional organizations. Large professional groups tend to have ethical standards, as will the state licensing board that oversees your profession.
Individuals convicted of a crime could lose their license when the relevant state board discovers the offense, possibly when they renew their license. They could also be at risk of expulsion from professional organizations that help them network and command higher prices for their services.
Damage to your reputation
In the age of the internet, you can’t count on consumers to forget the news article about your criminal case. People will forever be able to look up your name and uncover the allegations against you unless you qualify to have those records sealed after your conviction. For most professionals, avoiding a conviction is a key step in protecting their ability to continue their career after a mistake implicates them in some kind of fraudulent scheme.