Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney in Miami
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Most people in Florida think of insurance as a resource that comes in handy when disaster or difficult times strike. However, for every type of insurance, there is a type of fraud that places insurance companies at risk of paying false claims, and one can be socked with multiple federal charges in an instant. If you’re under investigation or have been charged, retain a Miami insurance fraud attorney like David Joffe immediately to help with your defense.
Some examples of insurance fraud include:
- stolen car fraud
- car accident fraud
- car damage fraud
- health insurance billing fraud
- unnecessary medical procedures
- fraudulent home fires
- storm fraud
- life insurance fraud
- renter’s insurance fraud
Do not say anything that might incriminate you. Speak with an attorney first.
Auto insurance fraud
The most common types of fraud in Miami fall under the auto insurance umbrella. Stolen car fraud usually occurs in one of two ways. The first type of fraud involves the car owner selling his or her vehicle to an auto shop that cuts the vehicle into pieces. The vehicle owner then reports the car stolen. In the second type of stolen vehicle fraud, the vehicle owner sells the car to an overseas buyer through a transaction that does not involve paperwork. Car accident fraud typically involves a staged accident in which the driver and accident victims and sometimes the accident investigator and bystanders play a role. The parties who are in on the scam give false statements and overly inflate the value of both vehicles to get a larger payout and split the illegal proceeds. Of the three main types of car insurance fraud, car damage fraud is the most common. A car owner commits fraud if he or she reports a small car accident to his or her insurance company. When the insurance company pays for the damage, the vehicle owner uses the money for something else.
Health care fraud
As national health care policy has become a widely discussed topic in recent years, more attention has been focused on health care fraud. Many in Miami mistakenly believe health care fraud is mostly committed by people who simply choose not to work and opt to receive government health benefits that are intended for people with disabilities and low income. On the contrary, most health insurance fraud perpetrators are criminal organizations and, in some cases, doctors and health facilities. These people also commit insurance fraud against private insurance companies. A doctor or health facility staff member engages in billing fraud if he or she:
- bills an insurance company for services a patient did not receive
- orders unnecessary medical tests and procedures for the purpose of billing the insurance company for a larger sum
- bills an insurance company for a service that was more expensive than the treatment the patient actually received
- bills an insurance company for each step in a service as if each step is a separate treatment
Homeowner’s insurance fraud
In some cases of fraud, a Miami homeowner may fake an accidental fire or report an act of vandalism that is pre-orchestrated by the homeowner. Staged fires always occur when no one is at home and after the homeowner’s valuable items have been removed. Prior to staging a fire, some fraudsters may ensure the insurance company is aware of the value of the expensive items in the home and leave them in the house before starting the fire. In other cases, the homeowner may stage a flood or break-in and possibly claim damage to valuable items that never existed or were never kept in the home. Abandoned house fraud is a variety of homeowner’s insurance fraud in which a homeowner has a fire staged at a house in which he or she does not currently reside. Houses that have been listed on the market, but are not selling are common targets of this type of fraud.
Renter’s insurance fraud
Renter’s insurance covers the contents of a rental unit and may also be used to compensate people who are injured on the rental property. Renter’s insurance fraud and homeowner’s insurance fraud are similar in that the person whose name is on the lease will typically stage a fire, flood, or other destructive act in the interest of receiving payment from his or her insurance company by claiming the loss of valuable items inside the rental property.
As residents in Miami and across Florida know, hurricanes do happen. Although most people file valid claims to receive the help they need after their property is damaged by a storm, fraudsters seize the weather event as an opportunity for financial gain. Some people commit fraud by exaggerating the extent of the damage the storm did to their property while others may have received no storm damage at all but will falsely claim damage and request compensation from their insurance company. Insurance providers are typically very busy following a major storm; therefore, companies may be less likely to detect certain fraudulent claims.
Life insurance fraud
Life insurance fraud often appears in story lines on soap operas and prime time TV shows. An insurance fraud scheme typically involves one person faking his or her death and disappearing. Next, the individual’s spouse or another close family member will collect the insurance payout then disappear shortly after to rejoin the person who faked his or her death and share the proceeds.
Contact an insurance fraud defense lawyer now
Floridians may sometimes think they can make slight misrepresentations on an insurance claim to receive a higher payout, but in reality, doing so may constitute a federal charge. Anyone who has been accused of insurance fraud should immediately contact a Miami insurance fraud lawyer prior to speaking to an investigator. A federal defense attorney can help people who have been accused of fraud defend themselves against a serious accusation that may otherwise result in a hefty fine or prison sentence.