Fraud is a crime prosecuted by the state and Federal Government. For the government to get involved, the fraud must involve a federal agency such as the IRS or been conducted over state lines. Common examples include tax fraud, Medicaid/Medicare fraud and Social Security fraud, to name a few.
A common theme among fraud cases is an alleged offender engaged in a form of deception to obtain an unlawful gain. Maybe you evaded taxes, participated in healthcare scheme, or used the Internet as part of a fraud scheme. Regardless of how the offense was committed, it’s imperative you hire an attorney with vast experience to represent you.
The quicker you hire a defense attorney, the greater your chances of avoiding a criminal conviction. The federal agencies that investigate fraud will have more time and resources to devote to your case than state prosecutors. You will also be facing significant time in federal prison and six-figure fines.
To mitigate your exposure to significant prison time,, contact the Coolidge Law Firm. We will vow to be with you every step of the way and always keep your best interest in mind. Every case that comes through the door at the Coolidge Law Firm is handled with diligence, and your case is no exception.
Schedule a time to speak with the Coolidge Law Firm more about your case. Call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Coolidge Law Firm represents clients in areas of Wake County including Raleigh, Holly Springs, Cary, and Apex.
Every U.S. citizen making over a certain amount is required to pay taxes. Doing so may seem like a hassle, but they help fund public resources such as the police and fire department. Tax fraud is the willful attempt to evade tax laws or defraud the IRS.
An individual or corporation can commit tax fraud in various ways. Some of the most common forms of tax fraud can range from failing to disclose full income to intentionally failing to file. Listed below are a few examples of tax fraud and their possible penalties:
- Willfully fail to file, supply information or pay taxes: Misdemeanor crime punishable by no more than a year of imprisonment, a fine up to $25,000, or both a fine and incarceration. Corporations will be fined up to $100,000.
- Fraud and false statements: Felony crime punishable by no more than three years in federal prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both a fine and time behind bars. Corporations will be fined up to $500,000.
- Evade or defeat paying taxes: Felony crime punishable by no more than five years in federal prison, a fine up to $100,000, or a combination of both. Corporations will be fined $500,000.
The IRS attempts to discourage tax violations by publicizing convictions and seeking prison time for offenders. To reduce the chances of this happening to you, contact the Coolidge Law Firm if you have been accused of tax fraud.
Healthcare fraud has become a growing problem in the United States. Thiscrime costs the Federal Government billions of dollars a year and accounts for 3% of the system’s budget.
Patients and healthcare professionals can commit healthcare fraud. Examples of common healthcare schemes can include the following:
- Billing for health service not performed
- Altering a bill or receipt to receive a higher payout
- Using another person’s coverage
- Accepting kickbacks for patient referrals
- Billing a patient for an amount higher than copay requires
- Falsifying diagnoses of a patient to perform unnecessary test or procedures
- Waving copays or deductions
Various federal laws criminalize healthcare fraud. The crime is penalized based on the law violated. Listed below is a brief description and penalties for various healthcare laws.
- False Claims Act: Making false claims to any government department or agency is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
- Anti-Kickback Statute: It’s illegal for healthcare providers to accept bribes or compensation for referring a patient to another physician or purchasing good or services under Medicaid or Medicare. Violating this statute is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a $25,000 fine.
- Healthcare Fraud Statute: Knowingly defrauding a healthcare benefit program is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
This is not an exhaustive list of federal healthcare laws. An attorney can help you better understand the law you are accused of violating and their respective penalties.
Mail and wire fraud are some of the oldest federal fraud charges in the United States. The crime involves using fraudulent schemes to deprive someone of money, property, or services through mail or wire communication. Wire communications can include the phone, radio, or television.
This fraudulent crime can involve phone calls from individuals promising free luxury vacations or newspaper ads featuring get-rich-quick schemes. No matter how the crime was committed, mail and wire fraud are serious federal crimes. Conviction of either crime can result in up to 20 years in federal prison and a substantial fine.
Charges are enhanced if the scheme benefited from a natural disaster declared by the President or it affected a financial institution. If so, the crime is penalized by up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Social Security Fraud
Social Security fraud comes in various shapes and sizes. Usually, the crime involves collecting Social Security benefits you are not entitled to. Listed below are common Social Security fraud schemes:
- Making false statements when applying for benefits
- Failing to report a change in circumstance
- Receiving benefits from a deceased individual
- Applying to Social Security in another person’s name
- Receiving disability benefits while receiving worker’s compensation
- Using another’s Social Security number
Social Security fraud is penalized based on the specifics of a case. Penalties can range from up to five years in federal prison, a fine up to $10,000, or both a fine and incarceration. You may also be ordered to pay restitution to the Commissioner of Social Security or any individual who suffered a financial loss from the fraud.
Additional Resources for Fraud
Laws Against Healthcare Fraud | CMS – Follow the link to view a PDF over federal laws governing healthcare fraud provided by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. You can learn more about the healthcare laws discussed on this page and other laws regarding the crime.
Tax Crimes | IRS – View a handbook provided by the IRS covering tax crimes in the United States. You can learn more about the tax fraud crimes mentioned on this page as well as other crimes such as conspiracy to commit tax fraud and tax evasion.
Speak to a Federal Fraud Lawyer Today
Federal fraud is a serious crime that can land you in federal prison for over a decade. The Coolidge Law Firm will do everything in its power to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
Taking on the Federal Government requires specific skills and knowledge found at the Coolidge Law Firm. Take the first step in building your defense and contact us today. Call (919) 239-8448 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a free consultation. The Coolidge Law Firm defends clients of federal crimes in Wake County communities include Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner and Wake Forest.