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Name: People v. Zanoletti
Case #: B199682
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/28/2009

Separate convictions were appropriate where insurance fraud activities were separate acts. Alfonso Zanoletti was accused of being a capper who specialized in staging accidents and referring people to a chiropractic clinic he co-owned. Magdalena Zanoletti was accused of preparing the fraudulent paperwork and submitting it to insurance companies. The Zanolettis appealed from judgments of conviction of insurance fraud in violation of Penal Code section 550. Magdalena Zanoletti contended on appeal that she could not have been convicted of violating more than one subdivision of section 550 and that her convictions for violating both subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(5) violate the single intent and plan doctrine. She argued that the different subdivisions merely describe different means of committing the single offense of insurance fraud, and since her conduct was more completely covered by subdivision (a)(5), she should not have been convicted of violating subdivision (a)(1). The appellate court found that multiple convictions were appropriate because they were based on different acts of fraud. For example, on one count, Magdalena had instructed a patient to sign in that he had received treatment 30 times, when he had only received 15 treatments. This was a violation of subdivision (a)(1). Then, Magdalena prepared the documentation for submission to the insurance company, a violation of subdivision (a)(5). The two convictions were not a violation of the single intent and plan doctrine because although there was a general scheme to defraud, there were separate acts of preparing a document with the intent to use it and knowingly presenting the false claims.