Los Angeles County Fraud Hotline

Department of Auditor-Controller
Office of County Investigations

Investigative Process

Step 1: Receive Allegation(s)

Our hotline staff receives allegations via this website, by telephone, e-mail, or facsimile. Allegations received through this website are automatically assigned a case number, which is provided to the informant and can be used to follow up on the status of the case (i.e., working or completed). Allegations reported via other methods are manually input in our hotline database by our hotline staff before a case number is assigned and are generally not provided to the informant in those situations.

Step 2: Review Allegation(s)

Allegations are carefully reviewed to determine whether they contain sufficient information to conduct a meaningful investigation. Hotline management will also conduct a basic risk assessment for each case. Cases are closed when it is determined the allegation is either immaterial, previously investigated or not enough information was provided.

Step 3: Assign and Investigate Case

Approved cases are assigned to a County investigation Unit (i.e., the Office of County Investigations, a department’s internal affairs unit, etc.) and prioritized based on the complexity, nature, and specifics of the allegations involved. It can take several weeks for a case to be assigned, and several months or more for the investigation to be completed.

Step 4: Report Investigation Results

Investigators summarize their findings, conclusions, and recommendations in a confidential report to the proper authority. Investigative reports originating from the Fraud Hotline are generally not made available to the informant or the public, in accordance with laws protecting subjects and witnesses, and to ensure the integrity of the disciplinary process. Investigative reports issued by OCI for administrative purposes contain the following allegation dispositions:

  1. Substantiated – when an investigation reveals a preponderance of the evidence (“more likely than not” or greater than 50%) indicating that the allegation(s) occurred;
  2. Indeterminate (Not Substantiated) – when the investigation produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to whether or not the event occurred; or
  3. Unfounded (Not Substantiated) – when the investigation reveals a preponderance of evidence indicating that the issues/allegations presented in the complaint were false.

Where applicable, the Office of County Investigation also issues reports of criminal misconduct to the District Attorney and other law enforcement entities for possible criminal prosecution.

Reports of internal control recommendations resulting from OCI investigations can be viewed via the following link: https://fraud.lacounty.gov/iors/.