Are You Under Investigation for Insurance Fraud? You Need a Lawyer Now.
The state of Florida is cracking down on insurance fraud. That means more people are under investigation for this white collar crime than ever before. 176 people were arrested in April 2012 alone by the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), and the agency has racked up 836 convictions so far this year. If you’ve been targeted by the police or the state for any type of insurance fraud, contact a lawyer experienced at dealing with sophisticated white collar crime defense. The state will go after you aggressively. Don’t be caught without a white collar criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
Local Insurance Fraud Arrests
Right here in Sarasota and Manatee County, two cases of insurance fraud made the newspaper in July of 2012. A Sarasota auto glass repair company was charged with filing fraudulent claims for unnecessary windshield replacement and a Lakewood Ranch woman was charged with defrauding Aflac of $83,000 in false medical and related claims. These are serious charges and having an experienced criminal defense attorney like Mark Zimmerman can make the difference in your case.
WHAT IS INSURANCE FRAUD?
In its most basic terms, insurance fraud is any action you take in order to receive payment or damages that you’re not entitled to from an insurance company. Insurance fraud can take on a number of different forms including:
- Auto Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Fraud
- Medicare, Medicaid and Heath Care Fraud
- Personal Property Insurance Fraud
- Social Security Disability Fraud
- Life Insurance Fraud
- Staged Car Crashes
- Workers Compensation Fraud
Auto Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Fraud
Auto Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud is the most common type of insurance fraud investigated in Florida and accounts for about half of all the cases in the state. Many of these cases involve accusations of staged car accidents and filing fake medical claims. Sometimes doctors and medical clinics are accused of fraudulent billing or overbilling as part of a PIP fraud investigation. In the past year, Florida has changed its PIP laws to crack down on this type of fraud. Attorney Mark Zimmerman has the knowledge and background to help you navigate through these serious charges.
What are the penalties for insurance fraud?
The penalties depend on the monetary value of the claim and can range from 1 year in prison for a misdemeanor to 30 years in prison for a 1st degree felony. There is also restitution, where you can be forced to pay back the insurance company for the false claims. Health care providers and clinics found guilty of insurance fraud can be fined and also lose their medical licenses.
What should you do if you are being investigated for or charged with insurance fraud?
Often you’ll be investigated for insurance fraud before you’re charged. This is not something you can talk your way out of. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to say nothing unless your attorney is with you. Not following this advice may only make the situation worse and give law enforcement more information to use against you. Investigating a claim of insurance fraud is usually a slow process. That gives your attorney time to present your case and may even prevent charges from being filed. If you’re already being charged with insurance fraud, then the time to act is now. These are serious charges and can’t be ignored. Obviously, you need a lawyer.
When you’re talking about white collar criminal defense, experience matters. Mark Zimmerman spent nearly a decade as a state prosecutor and brings that knowledge and experience to your defense. Mark Zimmerman will handle your case personally from beginning to end so you won’t be passed from paralegal to paralegal. Call Mark Zimmerman at (941) 365-8503 today for a free consultation and find out what he can do to help.