If you have been charged with the crime of insurance fraud, you should consult fraud lawyers for counsel. Insurance fraud is a serious criminal offense and a continuing problem in the country. Therefore, the penalties imposed on parties found guilty can be severe, depending on the circumstances and the amount of money involved. As implied, insurance fraud refers to the action of deceiving an insurer for illicit financial gain.
This type of offence often looks insignificant from a personal point of view since the gains are usually small. However, sustained fraud has a negative impact on a national level because the insurance companies are forced to raise the premiums to deal with the losses. As a result, the crime is treated with harshness in courts. Here are the most important details that you should understand when faced with insurance fraud charges.
Insurance Fraud Investigation
Situations of insurance fraud are presented to the authorities by insurance companies with cause for suspicion. Often, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the individual insurance providers will look deeper into a case before involving the law enforcement. In most cases, a specialist investigator is hired for the research. Other parties such as auditors, paralegals, adjusters and operations management personnel may be involved.
The exact process of investigation will depend on the case. After all, incidents of insurance fraud can differ widely, and they can range from overstating the value of an insured item to staging an incident for a false claim. The investigator will compile the details of the event and the insured statements. Also, evidence pertaining to the case will be collected. If there is sufficient proof for fraud, the information will be passed to the authorities.
Prosecution of Insurance Fraud
When charges are brought against you for insurance fraud, the prosecution must have sufficient proof of the offence for a conviction. Generally speaking, the prosecutor must present evidence that you engaged in deception of the insurer and did so knowingly. Also, they must prove that you gained value or attempted to gain value through your actions.
Penalties for Insurance Fraud
The penalties imposed for insurance fraud can be complicated because there are different forms of legislation that a guilty person can be charged under, depending on the region of residence. For example, crimes of fraud in NSW are often dealt with under the Crimes Act 1900, where one can get a maximum prison sentence of ten years. To avoid long-term prison sentences, consult an experienced lawyer if you suspect that you are under investigation.