Washington DC Insurance Fraud Lawyer

Washington DC laws specifically outline varying levels of insurance fraud charges. However, not only can you face charges in Washington DC for insurance fraud, but you also can face federal charges. While there is no provision for insurance fraud under the federal criminal law, there are federal laws that insurance law may violate.

These laws include mail fraud, as insurance claims and transactions often involve mailing documents, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which primarily is used in prosecutions for arson-related insurance fraud.

Regardless of the type of charges you may be facing, it is important to consider contacting a Washington DC insurance fraud lawyer as quickly as possible following any accusations of wrongdoing. Call today to set up a consultation with a dedicated fraud attorney.

Insurance Fraud Crimes Under DC Law

Under DC Code §22-3225.02, individuals commit insurance fraud in the first degree if they knowingly take one of the following actions with the intent to defraud or to obtain property of another by fraud, and consequently obtain the property or cause another to lose the property. A few examples of insurance fraud in the first degree include:

  • Presenting false information or knowingly concealing information that affects a material fact in certain insurance transactions
  • Soliciting or accepting insurance by or for an insurer that they know is or is likely to be insolvent
  • Removing or tampering with records of transactions of an insurer
  • Misappropriating funds of an insurer, insured, claimant, or applicant in insurance transactions or business activities
  • Unlawfully participating in insurance transactions that require a license or other legal authority for participation
  • Using another person for the purposes of falsely or fraudulently obtaining insurance benefits or filing a false or fraudulent insurance claim

For first-degree fraud to occur, the value of the property actually obtained or lost must be $1,000 or more.

Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree

Insurance fraud in the second degree is defined by Code §22-3225.03. This criminal offense occurs when individuals knowingly take one of the actions specified in §22-3225.02 above with the intent to defraud or obtain property of another by fraud, and the value of the property is $1,000 or more.

Misdemeanor Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is a misdemeanor offense under Code §22-3225.03a. Individuals commit misdemeanor insurance fraud if they knowingly engage in conduct specified in §22-3225.02 above with the intent to defraud or obtain property of another by fraud. Whatever type level of offense an individual is charged with, it is imperative that they seek the services of a Washington DC fraud lawyer.

Penalties for DC Insurance Fraud

In all cases of individuals who are convicted of insurance fraud in DC, they may be ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the insurance fraud. Additionally, Code §22-3225.04 sets forth the penalties for insurance fraud under Washington DC law.

First-degree insurance fraud carries a fine of up to $37,500, a federal prison sentence of up to 15 years, or both. For second-degree insurance fraud, the potential penalties include a fine of up to $12,500, a federal prison sentence of up to five years, or both.

If individuals are convicted of insurance fraud a second time, or after having been convicted of a similar felony in another jurisdiction, they can be subject to a fine of up to $25,000, a federal prison sentence of up to 10 years, or both. Misdemeanor insurance fraud carries a fine of up to $1,000, a period of incarceration not to exceed 180 days, or both. A Washington DC fraud attorney could help an individual avoid the penalties by building a strong fraud defense.

Work with a Washington DC Insurance Fraud Attorney

While your first inclination may be to cooperate with authorities who are investigating you for insurance fraud, doing so may land you in even more trouble. Under both DC and federal insurance laws, what you think is a harmless omission or error can violate the law.

If you are in this position, think smart and consult a Washington DC insurance fraud lawyer for advice before cooperating or even speaking with an insurance investigator or law enforcement authorities.