Orlando Federal Insurance Fraud Lawyer
In 2020, American insurance companies collected almost $1.3 trillion in premiums. As a result, they place enormous political pressure on local authorities to prosecute seemingly small insurance fraud matters to the fullest extent of the law. The “fullest extent” of Florida law is pretty full in this area. The potential penalties are as high as thirty years behind bars. This pressure, coupled with a prosecutor’s almost unlimited resources, understandably causes many of these fraud defendants to lose heart.
The courageous Orlando federal insurance fraud lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group never lose heart. No matter how long the odds look, our experienced professionals know that insurance fraud cases have lots of moving parts, so things are almost never as bad as they seem. That experience helps us break down the charges against you, find their weakest point, and exploit that weakness. Even if the state can establish legal guilt, which is a very big “if,” our professional team can almost always reduce the charges and/or penalties.
Types of Insurance Fraud
Basically, fraud is an intentional deception regarding current facts which is designed to enrich the individual at the expense of another. More specifically, some common types of insurance fraud include:
- Making False Claims: Staged car accidents, like the notorious “swoop and squat,” are the classic example. An unscrupulous motorist pulls out in front of another driver before braking suddenly and inducing a rear-end collision. Highly-exaggerated or outright false property damage claims are common as well. So are false Medicaid claims.
- Filing Untrue Documents: Workers’ compensation insurance policies are a good example. Since risk usually determines premium amounts, many fraudsters lie about things like employee activities or payroll size in order to reduce their risk. Prosecutors must prove that the defendant lied about current facts on the form.
- Lying to Adjusters: This final area is closely related to the first one. The defendant could be the person who filed a false or inflated claim. The defendant could also be a “witness” who says what someone else tells him/her to say. Frequently, the insurance company does not technically lose money in these situations.
In all these situations, the state must also prove that the defendant intentionally lied. The line between a lie and an error is often a very fine line. Prosecutors and Orlando federal insurance fraud lawyers have their own opinions about where this line is. But jurors have the final say in this area.
What to Expect in a Federal Criminal Case
Thirty years ago, a significant number of federal criminal cases went to trial. The plea bargaining system in federal courts was convoluted at best. Today, less than 3 percent of federal criminal cases go to trial, mostly because of the federal sentencing guidelines. Lawmakers established these standards in 1987 and the Supreme Court endorsed them in 1991. Prosecutors and defendants can now make agreements free from political or other pressures.
Subsequent changes to the Federal Sentencing Act made these guidelines discretionary as opposed to mandatory. Therefore, neutral judges have more control over the process. That control usually means better deals for defendants, especially in fraud cases that have lots of moving parts or weak evidence.
Reach Out to a Diligent Orange County Lawyer
Fraud accusations do not necessarily lead to fraud convictions. For a confidential consultation with an experienced federal insurance fraud attorney in Orlando, contact the O’Mara Law Group, Attorneys at Law. Convenient payment plans are available.