Any falsification or omission of information pertaining to an insurance claim, a premium, or an application is insurance fraud. Insurance fraud also happens when someone intentionally causes an automobile accident to make an insurance claim or makes several insurance claims for the same injury. The precise charge and possible sentence for insurance fraud depend on the amount of money involved and other circumstances. In southern California, if you’re accused of insurance fraud, call the Miranda Rights Law Firm immediately. Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney Douglas Miranda has more than a decade of experience defending those accused of white collar crimes including forgery, embezzlement, and fraud of all kinds.
COMMON TYPES OF INSURANCE FRAUD
There are a number of different ways that you can commit insurance fraud, including automobile insurance fraud, Medi-Cal insurance fraud, unemployment insurance’s fraud, and workers’ compensation fraud.
Automobile insurance fraud is committed when you make an attempt to obtain insurance payments from an auto insurance company by:
- Staging a car accident
- Lying about the price of a claim
- Destroying your vehicle and then reporting it as stolen to your insurance company
Unemployment insurance fraud is committed when you attempt to adjust your unemployment benefits by:
- Lying about your search for new work opportunities
- Collecting unemployment benefits in more than one state
- Intentionally provide incorrect information about your prior employment to the unemployment agency
If you try to obtain or increase your welfare benefits based on fraudulent information, you may be charged with welfare insurance fraud. There are two types of this crime:
- Recipient fraud, where the receiver lies or provides incorrect information in order to obtain benefits or increase existing benefits
- Internal fraud, where an employee of a government agency associated with welfare distribution attempts to receive or distribute illegal benefits from the agency
Healthcare insurance fraud is another common form of insurance fraud that occurs in California. This type of insurance fraud can be committed by doctors, nurses, hospital staff, pharmacists and other medical professionals who deal with insurance companies. Examples of healthcare insurance fraud include:
- Receiving payments or gifts for prescribing a certain type of medication
- Double-billing or overcharging patients for the services that they received
- Charging for services that were not provided to the patient
- “Doctor shopping” by getting the same prescription from multiple doctors
Medi-Cal insurance fraud is similar to healthcare insurance fraud, but it is specific to Medi-Cal insurance, while healthcare insurance fraud is more general. Someone who is charged with Medi-Cal insurance fraud will most likely also be charged with healthcare insurance fraud.
Workers’ compensation fraud is also considered to be a type of insurance fraud. This occurs when you:
- Either fake an injury or embellish the extent of the injury in order to receive more benefits
- Injure yourself outside of work, but claim that it happened while you were on the employer’s property
- Fail to tell the insurance company about a prior injury that you had which could have contributed to the new injury you have suffered
The penalties for insurance fraud can vary depending on what type of fraud was committed and whether it was charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If you are convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud charges, you may face up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are convicted of felony insurance fraud charges, you may face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $50,000 or double the amount that you defrauded, whichever amount is larger. In felony workers’ compensation insurance fraud cases, you may even larger fines of up to $150,000 or double the amount that you defrauded.
Often, the defendant will receive more severe consequences if this is a second or third offense. This could add as much as two years for every prior offense onto your sentence.
On top of these penalties, you may also have to pay restitution to the insurance company that you defrauded to cover any losses that they suffered as a result of your fraudulent actions.
This is not an exhaustive list of the types of insurance fraud that you can be charged with in the state of California. If you are charged with any type of insurance fraud, don’t wait to contact a knowledgeable Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney to begin investigating your case and fighting to achieve the best possible outcome.
A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE
Depending on the details of the case, a conviction for insurance fraud may be punishable by imprisonment, fines, or both. In the most serious cases, a defendant can receive a lengthy prison sentence. Additionally, those convicted of insurance fraud must make restitution payments as ordered by the court. If you’re accused of insurance fraud, your Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney will need to show that you did not knowingly or willfully commit insurance fraud; it was a misunderstanding or a simple mistake. A knowledgeable Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney may be able to prove that you had absolute no intent to defraud the insurance company. Intent is an important element in proving insurance fraud, so proving that you had no intent to defraud is key to the success of your case.
When the evidence against you is overwhelming, Douglas Miranda will pursue alternatives to incarceration including work release, community service, and electronic home confinement. In southern California, Douglas Miranda is the Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney to call if you’re accused of insurance fraud or any other white collar crime.
PUT US TO WORK FOR YOU
If you’ve been charged with insurance fraud, put an experienced Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney to work for you. After assessing your insurance fraud case, Douglas Miranda will explain your legal options and work to develop the most effective possible defense. At the Miranda Rights Law Firm, we take our responsibility to our clients seriously, and we put our experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles insurance fraud attorney, contact us today. Send an email, or call 213-293-1207. Se habla español.