Insurance fraud is one of the most common white collar crimes. Schemes of insurance fraud often can involve car accidents, medical insurance claims, fire damage claims, property damage claims, and even workers’ compensation claims. It is a serious accusation that could have a severe impact on your life.
If convicted, a person could face jail time, fines and a permanent mark on his or her criminal record. When you are accused of insurance fraud, it is important you build a strong defense early in the case. A West Chester attorney can help you fight to have the charges reduced or dropped.
Prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person was involved in a scheme to defraud an insurance company. This is critical when building a defense to the case. If a skilled attorney can raise reasonable doubt, your charges could be reduced or even dropped. Contact an insurance fraud lawyer at the Skinner Law Firm.
Attorney Michael Skinner has years of experience fighting for the rights of those accused of economic crimes. He understands the complexities of insurance fraud and can help you get a favorable outcome in your case. Attorney Skinner represents clients throughout Chester, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Delaware counties. Call (610) 436-1410 or contact online to schedule a free consultation.
Generally, insurance fraud is committed when a person manipulates the system for some type of benefit or gain. This usually includes filing false claims, providing inaccurate information and not completing forms entirely. However, the criminal offense is defined in several different ways under Pa. Cons. Stat. Title 18 § 4117.
For instance, a person could be charged with insurance fraud if he or she presents a claim with false or misleading information with the intent to defraud any insurer or self-insured. A person also could be charged if he or she assists someone in filing a false claim.
Additionally, a person could commit insurance fraud in Pennsylvania if he or she knowingly files a document with false or incomplete information concerning motor vehicle insurance with intent to defraud a state or local government agency.
Other instances in which a person could commit insurance fraud in Pennsylvania include:
According to state law, a district attorney has the authority to investigate and institute criminal charges against a person if he or she is accused of insurance fraud. If the offense occurred in more than one county, the state attorney general can take the role of investigating the offense.
Penalties for the offense can vary, but insurance fraud often is a third-degree felony, which could mean up to seven years in prison, a fine up to $15,000 or both. Additionally, there could be civil penalties involved.
An insurer who lost money or was damaged as a result of insurance fraud may sue in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover compensatory damages. This could become costly for a person accused of insurance fraud.
Damages could include reasonable investigation expenses, plus the costs of the lawsuit and attorney fees. An insurer may recover treble damages if the court determines the defendant has engaged in a pattern of insurance fraud.
If you have been charged with insurance fraud, contact the fraud defense attorneys at the Skinner Law Firm. The criminal defense attorneys can help you discover your options for handling the charges and help you begin building a strong defense. Call (610) 436-1410 or contact online to discuss the particular facts of your case.