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Insurance Fraud

Fraud Crimes, Insurance Fraud, Identity Theft

Fraud crimes involve intentional deception resulting in injury or loss of money or property to another person or entity. Most fraud crimes are felonies punishable by up to 4 years in prison or more. The Michigan Penal Code lists various crimes which require an intent to defraud another person or entity. There are several fraud related crime listings in our website and linked below:

Insurance Fraud

Making false statements in an insurance application or making false claims against an insurance policy are forms of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a felony which can carry up to 4 years imprisonment.

Fraudulent claims of automobile theft are a common type of insurance fraud. The insurance company will examine various factors to weigh the credibility of the claimant such as:

  • Whether the vehicle was started with a key,
  • The financial circumstances of the claimant (vehicle loan/value ratio, credit report of the claimant),
  • Whether the vehicle was destroyed by fire or other means to cover up any evidence of fraud.
  • Whether there are any inconsistencies in the statements of the claimant.

Insurance companies are very alert to claims that follow prior patterns of fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, a set of bad circumstances may create suspicion upon a person filing a legitimate claim. When fraud is suspected, the insurance company has various options. The insurance company may deny the claim, settle the claim or turn the matter over to the police for a criminal investigation of the insured party. Law enforcement investigators use a variety of tested methods to obtain incriminating statements from a suspected party. A polygraph is also widely utilized in fraud cases whenever a suspect denies the allegations.

ABDO LAW WARNING: Based upon our experience, talking to the police in this scenario is rarely beneficial. Police are trained interrogators and can spot bogus reports and cooked up stories. Let our attorneys speak on your behalf to your insurance agent or police if you are suspected of fraud. If there is strong evidence of fraud, we may suggest that the claim be withdrawn along with a request that no criminal charges be pursued.

Identity Theft

The Michigan Identity Theft Protection Act, found at MCL 445.61, classifies conduct which constitutes identity theft. In general, the Act prohibits someone from committing an unlawful act or obtaining goods, credit, services, money, property, employment, and confidential records by doing the following:

  • Using or attempting to use the personal identifying information of another person or business with the intent to defraud.
  • Concealing, withholding, or misrepresenting his or her identity.

All identity theft crimes are felonies that can carry stiff penalties:

  • First Offense: Up to 5 years in prison, and a fine of $25,000.00 or both
  • Second Offense: Up to 10 years in prison, and a fine of $50,000.00, or both
  • Third Offense: Up to 15 years in prison, and a fine of $75,000.00, or both

In addition to the above penalties, the offender may face additional criminal charges An identity theft unit has been assembled by the Macomb County Prosecutor which works in conjunction with the Macomb County Sheriff Department’s MACE Unit.

Welfare Fraud

Similar to the offense of insurance fraud, making false statements in connection with welfare or Medicaid benefits may constitute a felony pursuant to the Michigan Social Welfare Act.

StatuteOffenseMaximum Penalty
MCL 400.60(2)Welfare fraud4 years
MCL 400.603Medicaid, false statements4 years
MCL 400.607Medicaid, false claim4 years

ABDO LAW is one of the most respected criminal defense law firms in Michigan. It takes one phone call to get immediate answers to your most pressing legal questions. Our Macomb County criminal defense lawyers have handled well over 10,000 cases since 1980 and we know how to get a criminal case under control in the early stages to:

  • Avoid a felony conviction by negotiating a reduction to a minor misdemeanor.
  • Obtain a delayed sentence or HYTA disposition for youthful offenders.
  • Avoid jail.
  • Assist with a plan for payment of restitution when appropriate.
  • Consider withdrawing an invalid claim and avoid criminal charges.

Call ABDO LAW for personal and confidential advice from attorneys that have achieved AVVO’s highest rating of Superb and Martindale Hubbell’s Preeminent rating for legal ability and ethical standards by members of the bar and judiciary.

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