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What Constitutes Insurance Fraud?

Understanding What Counts as Insurance Fraud

Most people who own motor vehicles or businesses rely on insurance in case an unexpected accident occurs. Unfortunately, some people attempt to fraudulently use insurance in cases for which coverage does not apply. Other times, people end up charged with insurance fraud when they did not do anything illegal at all. In either situation, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of an experienced defense attorney who can help you fight your charges and obtain the best possible results.

Types of Insurance Fraud

Fraud cases involving insurance companies and claims are often divided into the following two types:

  • Hard fraud: This is the type of insurance fraud most individuals associate with criminal actions. Hard fraud includes faking accidents or injuries to collect compensation from insurance providers.
  • Soft fraud: This type of offense occurs when a person exaggerates on a legitimate claim. While some individuals might view this offense as not a big deal, it has the potential to result in particularly severe penalties.

Federal Law on Insurance Fraud

Federal law does not recognize a separate offense of insurance fraud. Instead, it is sometimes prosecuted under federal mail or wire fraud statutes, which give the federal government the ability to prosecute offenses that impact business activities between states.

Penalties Associated With These Cases

In addition to federal charges, many people who are charged with fraud against an insurance company also end up facing state penalties, which can include thousands of dollars in fines, lengthy periods of imprisonment, the loss of professional licenses.

As a result of these penalties, many people also end up encountering obstacles that make it difficult to pursue educational and career goals.

Defenses to These Cases

There are several common ways in which people can defend against insurance fraud and other associated charges. Some of the most common types of defenses that are raised include the following:

  • Insufficient evidence: If the prosecution is unable to present enough evidence to establish that person being charged actually committed fraud, it is impossible to charge the person with insurance fraud.
  • Lack of intent: In situations in which the prosecution is unable to establish that the person being charged had the intention to defraud another individual, it is impossible to charge a person with insurance fraud.
  • No act of fraud occurred: It is possible that a false insurance statement was not actually fraud. In some situations, insurance providers might view an exaggeration as an opinion rather than a statement, and as a result, a person will not end up facing charges.  

Speak with an Insurance Defense Attorney

If you are charged with insurance fraud, you should not hesitate to take immediate action to resolve your case. A seasoned defense lawyer can help review your case and create a strong legal strategy to make sure that your rights are protected.

At the Federal Criminal Law Center, we have the experience necessary to make sure that you have strong legal representation to defend against these charges. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free consultation, during which time we will determine how to respond to these charges.