Coverage fraud occurs when someone tries to take money from an insurance company through deception. It is usually motivated by financial gain, but if caught, you could face serious consequences.
Many people think of coverage sharp practice as harmless, but the truth is, it raises the cost of insurance for everyone and is a serious crime in the state of Washington. In fact, residents of Washington are even encouraged to report insurance sharp practice in exchange for a reward if the accused is charged and convicted.
WHAT IS INSURANCE FRAUD?
Insurance fraud is the intentional falsification or omission of information regarding an insurance claim, premium, or application. Coverage fraud can also apply to issuing fake insurance policies or rate-fixing. You may be charged with coverage fraud if you conspire to do any of the above, even if you did not actually succeed at defrauding the insurance company. Consumers, providers, insurance companies, adjusters and other individuals can all be charged with insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud includes auto coverage fraud, health insurance fraud, workers compensation fraud, and all other kinds of insurance scams. Some examples of coverage fraud include:
When anyone intentionally causes a traffic collision to make an auto insurance claim, or if someone makes several insurance claims for the same incident
A medical professional performing services or treatments that exceed what is necessary
Misrepresenting services that are billed to insurance companies
Waiving the coinsurance or deductible
Pretending to be injured in an attempt to get workers’ compensation
Filing for and obtaining unemployment coverage benefits when you are actually employed
Coverage fraud is typically broken down into categories: hard fraud and soft fraud. Hard fraud is when the accused fakes an accident, injury, theft, arson or other loss, takes out a life coverage policy on someone with the intention to kill that person, all for the purpose of collecting money from an insurance company. Soft fraud, on the other hand, occurs when the accused inflates the value of a stolen item or claims that damage occurred because of an accident when the damage actually existed prior to the accident. For example, an individual claiming to the insurance company that his car’s bumper was damaged during an accident when it was actually damaged prior to the accident occurring is soft sharp practice. This type of sharp practice is usually thought of as an opportunistic crime.
The exact charge and the potential penalties for coverage sharp practice depend on the amount of money involved and the other details of the alleged crime. In some cases, you may also face federal charges which carry much more severe consequences than state charges do. Federal authorities can prosecute coverage sharp practice under a number of different statutes including mail fraud or criminal racketeering.
Besides the criminal penalties that you may face, the victim could also bring you to civil court in an attempt to win restitution from you. This means that if you are charged of sharp practice, you could face jail time, fines and also owe restitution. Even if you are not found guilty of fraud, the victim can still bring you to civil court.
If you are charged and/or convicted of coverage sharp practice, friends and family may turn their backs on you. You also may find that it is difficult to find employment with an coverage fraud conviction on your record. Employers will view you as untrustworthy and dishonest and not want to risk being defrauded by you. This is especially true when you are convicted of insurance sharp practice relating to workers’ compensation or unemployment coverage, since these deal with workplace related matters.
If you’re accused of coverage sharp practice in the Seattle area, call the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold immediately. Experienced Seattle insurance fraud attorney Kevin Trombold has more than twenty years of experience representing defendants charged with white-collar crimes including embezzlement, forgery, and coverage fraud.
ELEMENTS OF INSURANCE FRAUD
The prosecution must prove all elements of coverage sharp practice in order to convict someone of this crime. Those elements include:
The defendant made a false statement of material fact
The defendant knew that the statement was not true
The defendant had the intention to deceive by making the false statement
If the prosecution cannot prove these elements of coverage sharp practice, then the defendant cannot be convicted. If you or a loved one has been charged with coverage fraud, it is essential that you contact a Seattle insurance fraud attorney as soon as possible.
WORKING HARD FOR YOU
In the most serious coverage sharp practice cases, a conviction is punishable with a lengthy prison sentence. If you are charged with car insurance fraud or health coverage sharp practice, you may have made a simple mistake or there may have been a simple misunderstanding. If you did not knowingly or intentionally defraud an insurance company, your attorney can explain what happened and may be able to have charges dropped or arrange a settlement agreeable to all parties. If the prosecution’s case against you is overwhelming, and you are convicted, experienced Seattle insurance fraud attorney Kevin Trombold will negotiate for alternative sentencing that could include work release, community service, and “house arrest.” If you’re accused of coverage sharp practice or any other white-collar crime in the Seattle area, call the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold immediately.
DON’T WAIT TO CALL
If you’ve been charged with insurance sharp practice, let attorney Kevin Trombold go to work for you. An coverage fraud charge can ruin your life unless you get the right help fast from the right criminal defense attorney. Experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney Kevin Trombold and his legal staff work swiftly and aggressively to investigate insurance sharp practice cases and to protect the rights of clients. With over twenty years of experience and a reputation for legal excellence respected by Seattle-area judges, prosecutors, and peers, defense attorney Kevin Trombold routinely wins not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and reduced charges. If you are charged with coverage sharp practice in or near the Seattle area, contact the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold by calling 206-382-9200 as quickly as possible for a no-cost initial consultation.