Types of Fraud
Non-violent fraud crimes can carry significant prison sentences, fines, restitution and a criminal record if convicted. Fraud crimes are prosecuted both in the State and Federal Courts, and often the seriousness of the offense is tied to the amount of loss involved, and the conduct involved. Some common types of fraud cases prosecuted by law enforcement, and handled by Mr. Truslow are as follows:
Mail fraud is any crime in which the accused uses the mail system to defraud other people of money or property. Punishments vary based on the severity of the crime, but the largest fines and prison sentences could be up to $1 million and 30 years. There are a variety of different subcategories of mail fraud case types, including:
- Impersonation: In impersonation fraud cases, the accused sends an individual a document requesting personal information, with the intent of using that information to steal money.
- Misrepresentation of merchandise: This type of fraud involves an individual paying for, but never receiving an item, or receiving a package that he or she did not order, then being pressured to pay for the item. This particular type of fraud has become more common with the increase in online shopping.
- Promotional coupons or checks: A company might send a check that offers services free of charge or discounts, but the fine print reads that the person is subject to fees for services. Often, people do not see this fine print, and results in loss of large amounts of money.
- Fake charities: This type of fraud exists to take advantage of an individual’s charitable nature, using the guise of a charitable organization to steal money.
Healthcare fraud offenses involve numerous specific subtypes of healthcare fraud. The areas of healthcare fraud include:
- Billing for services not rendered: Billing Medicare or an insurance company for injuries, illnesses or other medical conditions that never existed is a common form of healthcare fraud. Forgeries and bribes may occur in these cases as well.
- Duplicate claims: In a duplicate claims case, the offender is alleged to have billed Medicare or the insurance company twice or more for the same service by filing two or more versions of the same invoice.
- Unbundling: Very often, invoices for medical services are bundled together to avoid hefty costs.“Unbundling” these billings, however, or staggering billing submissions over time, results in a higher payout, which results in healthcare fraud.
- Unnecessary or excessive service: Unnecessary claims occur when patients file claims that do not apply to their condition, while excessive service claims occur when a person files a greater claim than what is needed for his or her level of care.
- Kickbacks: Any type of reward or gift used to convince medical professionals to use a specific type of medical service so that the patient can file a greater claim is illegal.
- Upcoding: This area of healthcare fraud refers to the process of billing for services that cost more than the actual procedures performed or medical equipment and items used.
Mortgage fraud typically falls into two categories: the offender tries to claim a property is worth more than it is, or the offender commits fraud to maintain or acquire property ownership. There is a variety of more specific mortgage fraud types, including:
- Illegal property flips: The property is purchased, falsely appraised at a much higher value and then sold quickly for profit.
- Air loans: Mortgage loans are obtained with no underlying security, which means that lenders have no collateral.
- Foreclosure schemes: The alleged offender misleads the homeowner into believing that for a price, the offender can save the homeowner’s property.
- Backward applications: The alleged offender / borrower inflates his or her income so that it fits the criteria of the loan.
Additional Types of Fraud:
Additional areas of fraud handled by Mr. Truslow include: Tax Fraud, Wire Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Identity Theft, Credit Card Fraud, Forgery, Embezzlement, Money Laundering, Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent and Grand Larceny.
If you are the subject of a fraud investigation, or charged with a fraud crime, contact criminal defense lawyer Kirk Truslow for a free initial consultation. You can contact Mr. Truslow at his office at (843) 449-3304. Mr. Truslow also personally monitors his email, and you can communicate with him at [email protected].