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Cracking Down on Insurance Fraud
Due to the uptake in hurricane-related claims, prosecutors have been pursuing insurance fraud more than ever before. A Florida principal was recently arrested for his attempt to create fraudulent claims of about $16,000 worth of damages to his home after Hurricane Irma. It may seem harmless to slightly exaggerate damage claims after a natural disaster, but the legal system is capable of prosecuting even if the misstep was unintentional.
What Constitutes Insurance Fraud?
Someone can commit insurance fraud in a variety of ways, and through different types of insurance such as home, car, renter’s, or life insurance. People may falsify insurance documents, report their car stolen, stage an accident, or file a false claim. There are many ways someone can be fraudulent with an insurance company, but it always involves a person attempting to receive money or benefits that are not rightly theirs. This is typically accomplished through deception.
What Are the Penalties?
The penalties for insurance fraud can be severe, but they depend on the amount of the fraudulent claim. Depending on the value of the claim, the defendant could face a first, second, or third degree felony charge, as well as lose any professional license that they have. This could mean jail time as well as substantial fines.
What to Do if You Are Accused
It can be frightening to be arrested for insurance fraud, especially if you were acting out of desperation or did not intend to commit fraud, but you need to maintain a calm composure. You should not give a statement to investigators until you have already spoken with your attorneys. To avoid a harsh sentence involving jail time, it is important that you have counsel that understands the defenses for insurance fraud – even if it was a mistake or misunderstanding. This may mean proving that there is not sufficient evidence against you, showing that you did not intent to commit fraud, or claiming entrapment.
If you are accused of insurance fraud, you should immediately seek the counsel of an aggressive defense attorney such as the law offices of Robert Eckard & Associates, P.A. You can be rest assured that if you are open and honest with your legal team, they will take care of the legal processes you need for your defense.