Behind The Scenes: Fraud, Felons and Empowerment (Part 1)
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
On this week’s Phil in the Blanks podcast, Dr. Phil speaks with Jennifer Lentz Snyder, Head Deputy of the Norwalk Branch of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and George Mueller, Deputy Commissioner for the California Department of Insurance’s Enforcement Branch. Hear about high-profile cases they have been involved with, including the Night Stalker and Suge Knight, and going undercover, fraud, felons, and empowerment.
Jennifer Lentz Snyder Head Deputy of the Norwalk Branch of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
JENNIFER LENTZ SNYDER is a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, currently serving as the Head Deputy of the Norwalk Branch, after seven years heading the Healthcare Insurance Fraud Division. Jennifer previously served for more than 12 years in the Public Integrity Division, where, among other duties, she headed the team of prosecutors involved in the investigation and criminal prosecution of the Bell City Officials. She prosecuted public officials for fraud, perjury, misappropriation of public funds, fraud, and grand theft, often committed by service providers under contract with the County of Los Angeles who billed for services that were never provided.
Jennifer has successfully prosecuted scores of criminal cases, including dozens of gang-related homicides and public corruption crimes. Her collaboration with a joint FBI-LAPD task force resulted in the dissolution of the 89 Family Bloods, a notorious street gang with a penchant for killing witnesses. She was an active participant in the promulgation of the California Witness Protection Program and has testified in Sacramento and Washington DC at congressional hearings on numerous occasions.
Jennifer is a subject matter expert on the topics of Public Corruption crimes, the White Collar Crime enhancement, Asset Forfeiture, Criminal Insurance Fraud, and the Brown Act (California’s Open Meeting Laws). She regularly provides training throughout the state for public agencies, law enforcement and public interest groups on a variety of topics. For the past four years, Jennifer has been a proactive participant in the LADA Bail Reform Committee, working with justice system partners to develop and implement a non-cash release system for persons arrested in a way that protects public safety and ensures appearances in court.
In 1997, Jennifer was named one of the top lawyers in the state by California Lawyer magazine. In 2011, Jennifer was again recognized as one of the top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal, California’s legal newspaper. She is a member of the California District Attorneys Association Insurance Fraud Committee and participates on task forces and other collaborative efforts throughout the state targeting insurance fraud.
For most of the past 19 years, she has been a facilitator for Project LEAD a program that brings prosecutors and law enforcement personnel once a week to a 5th grade classroom at a high-risk elementary school to present curriculum designed to educate 5th graders about the criminal justice system and the importance of making positive choices.
A 1978 graduate of UCLA, Jennifer completed her Juris Doctor degree at Pepperdine School of Law in 1988 and was an adjunct professor teaching Sentencing and Corrections Law and Trial Advocacy. Before she embarked on a legal career, Jennifer was a professional harpist, performing in concert, as a soloist and ensemble member throughout the country including gigs as the Genoa City harpist for the soap opera, The Young and the Restless, as a member of the orchestra with Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett and Loretta Lynn, among others, and as a scholarship artist for the Young Musician’s Foundation.
Deputy Commissioner for the California Department of Insurance’s Enforcement Branch
George Mueller was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner, Enforcement Branch, for the California Department of Insurance (CDI) on July 20, 2015. The Fraud Division investigates suspected fraud committed by consumers or organized criminal elements perpetrated against insurance companies. The Investigation Division investigates suspected fraud committed by insurance agents, brokers, public adjusters, bail agents, insurance companies and other individuals and entities transacting the business of insurance who perpetrate fraud against consumers. The missions and orientations of the two Divisions are quite different, but the ultimate goal is to protect consumers from the increased costs of insurance caused by the fraudulent behavior of others.
George previously served as Assistant Chief, Bureau of Investigation, for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which is the largest prosecutorial agency in the nation. As Assistant Chief, he oversaw complex criminal investigations in automobile insurance fraud, workers' compensation fraud, healthcare fraud, cooperative disability investigations, consumer fraud, real estate fraud, white collar crimes, elder abuse, public corruption, organized crime, major crimes, and other high impact crimes.
George earned a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from the Center for Public Affairs and a Master's Degree in Public Administration, with a specialization in Judicial Administration-both degrees were bestowed by the University of Southern California, School of Public Administration. In 2011, George graduated from the prestigious FBI National Academy Program, a 10-week professional course of academic work. George is also an educator, having lectured on numerous topics at: California State University, Los Angeles; the United States Department of State; the Office of the Attorney General in Thailand; the first International Summit on Human Trafficking; the FBI National Conference; and Public Safety Canada.
George has served as the President of the California District Attorney Investigators’ Association, and on the Board of Directors of the Peace Officers’ Association of Los Angeles County, and the Southern California Fraud Investigators’ Association. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Anti-Fraud Alliance Association.