Fraud is becoming more and more common nowadays with insurance fraud being one of those.
There are individuals that work very hard to defraud insurance companies for financial gain. This is done by submitting false information to the insurance company with the intent to act on that false information. For example, someone applying for insurance may falsely state something on the application. The most common act, however, is when false insurance claims are submitted to the insurance company.
Some of the most common insurance fraud schemes include:
- Falsely stating the amount of a claim
- Concealing important information on an insurance application
- Concealing important information when reporting a loss
- Staging an accident or an event that results in a claim
- Submitting a false claim
- Hiding or lying about important information when making a claim
- Committing arson in order to profit from the claim
- Faking a theft claim
- Failing to report property that has been recovered
These fraud schemes can involve homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and even medical insurance. Individuals have been known to stage automobile accidents and damage to their homes so they can make claims. Sometimes an individual can be the victim of a staged automobile accident in which it is made to look as if the victim is at fault, resulting in their insurance having to pay the person who staged the accident. More and more of these individuals are being caught, while others seek out the help of a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer when they’ve been accused.
The penalties depend upon the value of the property, services, or benefit that was received as a result of the fraud. Restitution to the insurance company may be ordered by the court in addition to prison time and fines. However, restitution cannot be a substitute for prison time or fines.
Being that insurance fraud is considered a type of theft. Minnesota Statute 609.52 Subdivision 3 says that the prison sentence can be up to 20 years with a fine that does not exceed $1,000 if the amount of the theft is over $35,000. The prison time and the fines decrease as the dollar amounts go down. For example, $1,000 constitutes a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine or not more than $10,000. Avoiding these penalties or the maximum penalties involves having a qualified Minneapolis insurance fraud lawyer working with you every step of the way.