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Chicago Fraud Defense Attorney
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Most fraud offenses violate both state and federal laws and therefore may result in either state or federal charges. Simply put, the greater the fraud, the more likely the charges will be filed in federal court.
Fraud charges encompass a wide range of conduct and often include related crimes such as identify theft, embezzlement, and cybercrimes. In fraud cases, the principal issue usually is whether the government can prove that you had the intent to lie or deceive. Common fraud charges include health care fraud, insurance fraud, and mail & wire fraud. Because the crimes overlap, they are often charged together.
Health Care Fraud Charges
Health care fraud is increasingly common. A typical scenario is the medical provider that obtains reimbursements from insurers for which the provider knows it is not entitled. For example, the medical provider may file claims for services it never performed, file multiple claims for the same service, or file claims for services not covered by the insurer's policy. Health care fraud also includes providing kickbacks for patient referrals.
Insurance Fraud Charges
Insurance fraud occurs when one knowingly deceives an insurance company to obtain reimbursements for which he or she is not entitled. Common examples of insurance fraud include purposely destroying insured property or greatly exaggerating an injury.
Mail & Wire Fraud Charges
Mail and wire fraud are two of the most commonly charged federal crimes. Mail fraud applies to any scheme to defraud where a person uses the United State Postal Service or an interstate mail carrier. Wire fraud applies to any scheme to defraud where a person uses a phone or electronic communication device – e.g., a computer. Put simply, any fraud that is not committed entirely in person can be charged as mail fraud, wire fraud, or both.
Alternatives to Prison
A prison sentence may be avoided depending on the extent of the fraud and the value of the defrauded property. Possible alternatives to incarceration include a sentence of probation, paying restitution and fines, completing significant amounts of community service, and receiving treatment for underlying issues where appropriate.
What You Should Do
- Be respectful.
- Calmly record the interaction.
- Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think - and the judge may agree - that the interaction is consensual.
- If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, do not answer and questions before speaking with your attorney.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not physically resist arrest.
- Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
- Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
- Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.