Insurance fraud occurs when an individual knowingly lies in order to obtain insurance benefits. When you are accused of insurance fraud, you face powerful adversaries. The insurance company typically conducts its own investigation, which can result in civil charges for fraud and racketeering. The California Department of Insurance investigates and prosecutes most criminal charges of insurance fraud. Federal law enforcement investigates certain forms of insurance fraud, such as Medicare fraud, and local law enforcement can also be involved in any insurance fraud investigation.
There are as many types of insurance fraud as there are types of insurance. Areas of fraud include automobile collision, automobile property damage, medical and health insurance, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, property and fire, and life insurance. More familiar insurance fraud schemes are those perpetrated by individuals, such as falsely reporting theft of insured property. However, insurance fraud can often operate in the commercial context, such as overbilling for medical services and underreporting payroll to lower workers' compensation premiums.
Insurance fraud charges depend on the nature of the fraud. If it is minor, civil penalties or misdemeanor charges may apply. More significant cases of fraud can result in felony charges and significant financial penalties and restitution.
Insurance fraud charges can have a huge impact on your life. If the fraud charges involve activity in the workplace, your livelihood may be threatened. Insurance companies have every interest in minimizing your claims. Your rightful entitlement to proceeds of the insurance policy you paid for may be in jeopardy.
An experienced Orange County insurance fraud defense lawyer can help you confront these charges. At the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera, we have counseled and defended individuals charged with insurance fraud and other white collar crimes for almost 40 years. We will work with law enforcement and the insurance company to resolve the claims against you with as little impact on your life as possible. Call us today at (949) 863-1663 for a confidential consultation.