If you are concerned that you may be under scrutiny for alleged Medicare or Medicaid fraud, you need to secure effective representation right away.
The FBI is the principal agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting health care fraud. Health care fraud investigations are a very high priority for the FBI, through its Complex Financial Crime Program. Every FBI field office across the country has teams of investigators who are specially trained to uncover and eradicate health care fraud. Medicare and Medicaid fraud, which involves collecting payments from the federal government, usually through false billing, is a top priority, since it potentially impacts very vulnerable health care recipients, including the elderly, disabled, and people living in poverty.
Common Fraudulent Schemes that Attract FBI Attention
Some frequently occurring activities that often trigger federal investigation include: schemes that provide gifts or incentives to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries for visiting health clinics, where their personal information is extracted and stolen; obtaining identity information about patients by offering fraudulent free screenings; bribing or providing kickbacks to health care personnel who provide their patients’ insurance information to those directly involved in a fraudulent scheme; and purchasing stolen patient and physician billing information.
Potential Sentences for Medicare or Medicaid Fraud
If you have collected healthcare funds from the federal government illegitimately, and it is proven in court, you could face extremely harsh penalties. Medicare and Medicaid fraud are punished much more severely in the years since the Affordable Care Act has come into force. Punishments for fraud generally stem from the federal sentencing guidelines. Depending on the level of the offense, penalties can include maximum sentences ranging from 6 months to decades in prison, along with huge fines. In addition, restitution payments for wrongfully obtained funds are almost always ordered by a judge, in order to reimburse the federal government.
Seek Counsel from an Experienced Defense Attorney
If you have reason to believe that you are being investigated by the FBI, or if you have been charged with health care fraud, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately, before you respond to an investigative inquiries. Like other white collar crimes, health care fraud is complex. Steven Goldman, a Chicago-area defense attorney with years of experience, can offer guidance on how to protect yourself and your reputation from allegations of health care fraud and the exorbitant fines and lengthy prison sentences that can come with it. Contact our office today to protect your reputation.