Fraud is a serious criminal offense that encompasses a broad range of activities and is covered by numerous federal laws. Health care fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and mortgage fraud are just a few of the different types of fraud cases that federal agencies investigate. In each of these cases, the consequences of a prosecution or conviction can be severe, including loss of a medical license, prison time, and financial penalties. Below are just three examples of fraud offenses commonly brought by federal authorities.
Health Care Fraud
Health care providers are often accused of upcoding, which involves billing for a procedure that pays more than what is justified, or for unnecessary medical procedures. Another common accusation is billing for procedures that were not performed or for fictitious patients. The consequences of an investigation or conviction can be severe, including the loss of a medical license and being barred from future government reimbursement programs.
Individuals and businesses use bankruptcy to wipe out debt and make a fresh start. However, the Department of Justice’s US Trustees Program monitors bankruptcy proceedings and refers suspected fraud cases to the FBI and the US Attorney’s office. In bankruptcy fraud cases, the accused is alleged to have lied or produced false documents to hide financial assets from the bankruptcy process.
Mortgage fraud involves loan refinancing and/or modification and is a focus of federal agencies following the 2008 housing market crash. The FBI’s Financial Institution Fraud Unit investigates various types of mortgage fraud, including loan modification schemes, equity skimming, foreclosure rescue schemes, illegal property flipping, and silent second mortgages.
Sentencing in Fraud Cases
Congress adjusted the sentencing guidelines to increase the recommended guideline ranges for individuals convicted of fraud offenses following white-collar scandals such as WorldCom and Enron. The loss amount is a key factor that can drive one’s potential sentence in a fraud case, and other characteristics of the offense, such as the number of victims involved and the use of sophisticated means, can increase the offense level.
Why You Need a DC Federal Fraud Lawyer
Regardless of the type of fraud case, an experienced and aggressive DC federal fraud lawyer is essential if you find yourself targeted by the federal government. A skilled lawyer can help you understand your legal rights, navigate the legal process, and develop the best possible defense strategy. They can also negotiate with the prosecutor and potentially seek a plea bargain that results in a reduced penalty.
Overall, fraud charges are serious and require the assistance of a skilled DC federal fraud lawyer. Whether you are facing health care fraud, bankruptcy fraud, or mortgage fraud charges, it’s crucial to seek the guidance and support of a knowledgeable defense attorney to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.