Insurance fraud is a serious crime in Washington, D.C. Penalties extend beyond a simple denied insurance claim and can have long-lasting effects on your life, even if the charge stemmed from a simple misunderstanding or clerical error on insurance paperwork. If you are facing insurance fraud charges, you need the experienced criminal defense attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, to fight for you.
WHAT IS INSURANCE FRAUD?
In Washington, D.C., a person commits insurance fraud if they present false information or conceal information when submitting an insurance policy claim, purchasing a policy, or renewing a policy. They must do this knowingly and have the intent to deceive.
Insurance fraud charges vary based on the value of the property or services involved. If the value of the property or services obtained has a value of more than $1,000, this may be Insurance Fraud in the First Degree. If a person seeks property or services valued at $1,000 or more but does not obtain them, this is Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree.
RELATED INSURANCE FRAUD CHARGES
Although insurance fraud itself is not a federal offense, depending on the circumstances of the incident, you could face additional federal criminal charges. These may include charges that include Mail Fraud, Travel Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Because many insurance claims require the use of the mail system, you could be charged with mail fraud if you knowingly mailed something with the intent to defraud the insurance company. You do not have to be the person who mailed the item to be charged with mail fraud if you knowingly cause the mail to be used to further the insurance fraud scheme.
You may be charged under the Travel Act if the scheme to defraud the insurance company involves interstate travel or mail sent across state lines.
RICO charges primarily occur in arson cases with an attempt to defraud property insurance companies, but can also apply to healthcare and auto insurance fraud if the scheme to defraud the insurance company is part of a racketeering enterprise that has the intent to harm another.
INSURANCE FRAUD PENALTIES
Insurance Fraud in the First Degree carries penalties including up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $37,500.
Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $12,500.
Mail Fraud or Travel Act convictions carry up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
RICO convictions carry up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. You may also be sued civilly and the court could award three times the amount of actual damages.
HAVE YOU BEEN CHARGED WITH INSURANCE FRAUD IN WASHINGTON, D.C.?
If you have been charged with insurance fraud in Washington, D.C. or Virginia, your future is at stake. These are very serious charges that have significant prison sentences and hefty fines that can devastate your finances if convicted. The attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, have the courtroom experience to aggressively fight for you. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.