Making a false claim to an insurance company on purpose is a common crime known as insurance fraud. Healthcare providers, such as doctors, dentists, or chiropractors, frequently submit claims to insurers for services that were never rendered. Attempts to cheat insurance frequently utilize arson. When someone sets fire to their house, place of business, or car on purpose, they then try to claim the insurance payout under the pretext that the fire was unintentional. Other sorts of insurance fraud include making false statements about the size of a loss following a break-in or making false statements about your address to obtain a lower vehicle insurance rate.
New York criminal law has a number of various offenses related to insurance fraud. The precise insurance fraud offense you will be charged with if you perform an insurance fraud act will depend on a number of different circumstances, including the type of insurance plan involved and the amount of money involved. You will be charged with insurance fraud in the second degree under New York Penal Law 176.15 if you perform an insurance fraud act and use that act to get or attempt to obtain property worth more than $50,000 but less than $1,000,000.
Examples Of Insurance Fraud In The Second Degree In New York
Firefighters were called to extinguish a car fire. The 2014 Maserati caught fire. Although the fire was put out, the $100,000 car was a total loss. Angela, who lived a few blocks away, owned the vehicle. When Angela discovered that her automobile had been destroyed by fire, she made a claim with her insurance provider. Fire investigators came to the conclusion that the car was purposefully set on fire rather than experiencing a malfunction because of where the damage to it was placed. Further proof indicating the fire was started on purpose and by Angela was found by the investigators. Based on the worth of the car, she was accused of second-degree insurance fraud.
Sentence For Insurance Fraud In The Second Degree
Second-degree insurance fraud is a class C felony. If found guilty, you risk receiving a sentence of up to 15 years in jail as well as a fine. The judge may also order you to serve a five-year probationary period. Also, the judge may compel you to pay the insurance company back as restitution if you received money from them that you weren’t entitled to.
- Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree –New York Penal Law 176.15
- Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree –New York Penal Law 176.20
- Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree –New York Penal Law 176.25
- Insurance Fraud in the First Degree –New York Penal Law 176.30
- New York Insurance Fraud
Defenses To Insurance Fraud In The Second Degree
The prosecutor must demonstrate that there was more than $50,000 at stake in order to convict you of insurance fraud in the second degree. If you can prove the amount of money you would have received from the insurance provider had you not set your car on fire in an effort to get the insurance earnings, you can escape being charged with insurance fraud in the second degree.
Nonetheless, if the prosecution continues to believe that you committed insurance fraud, you may face third-, fourth-, or fifth-degree charges. In addition, if you had not intended to cheat the insurer, you would not have committed insurance fraud. Consider the scenario where you, as a healthcare professional, submit an incorrect claim. If you can demonstrate that the error was unintentional and not malicious, you have not engaged in insurance fraud.
Differences Between Insurance Fraud In The First And Second Degree In New York
In New York, insurance fraud is a serious crime that is punishable by law. Insurance fraud in the first degree and insurance fraud in the second degree are two different levels of crime, each with its own set of elements and penalties.
Insurance fraud in the first degree is the more serious of the two offenses. It occurs when a person intentionally commits insurance fraud and the value of the fraudulent claim exceeds $1,000,000. Insurance fraud in the first degree is a class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Insurance fraud in the second degree, on the other hand, occurs when a person intentionally commits insurance fraud and the value of the fraudulent claim is less than $1,000,000. Insurance fraud in the second degree is a class C felony, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Both insurance fraud in the first degree and insurance fraud in the second degree are serious crimes, and those who are convicted of these offenses may also be required to pay restitution to the victims of the fraud. In addition, those who are convicted of insurance fraud may also face civil penalties, such as fines or the loss of their professional licenses.
It’s important to note that insurance fraud can take many forms, including false claims, staged accidents, and intentional damage to property. If you believe that you have been a victim of insurance fraud or if you have been accused of insurance fraud, it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
How To Report Insurance Fraud In New York
If you suspect insurance fraud in New York, it is important to report it as soon as possible. Reporting insurance fraud can help protect consumers, prevent insurance rates from increasing, and hold criminals accountable for their actions. Here are the steps you can take to report insurance fraud in New York:
- Collect Information: Collect as much information as you can about the suspected fraud, including the names of the individuals involved, dates, and any relevant details or documentation.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: If you suspect that insurance fraud has been committed against you or your insurance company, contact your insurance company directly to report the fraud.
- Contact the New York State Department of Financial Services: You can also report insurance fraud to the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). You can call the DFS fraud hotline at 1-888-FRAUDNY (372-8369) or visit the DFS website to submit a complaint online.
- Contact Law Enforcement: You may also want to contact your local law enforcement agency to report the fraud. In some cases, insurance fraud can be a criminal offense and law enforcement may investigate the matter further.
- Consult with an Attorney: If you have suffered financial losses due to insurance fraud, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney who specializes in insurance fraud. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and may be able to help you recover damages.
It is important to remember that reporting insurance fraud is an important step in protecting yourself and others from fraudulent activity. By taking action, you can help prevent insurance fraud and protect the integrity of the insurance industry.
Hiring A New York Lawyer For Insurance Fraud In The Second Degree
If you have been charged with insurance fraud in the second degree in New York, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and defend your rights. Here are some steps you can take to hire a New York lawyer for insurance fraud in the second degree:
- Research: Research lawyers who specialize in criminal defense, specifically in insurance fraud cases. You can start your search by checking online directories or asking for recommendations from friends or family members.
- Consultations: Schedule consultations with several lawyers. During the consultation, discuss the details of your case and ask the lawyer about their experience handling insurance fraud cases.
- Experience: It is important to choose a lawyer who has experience in handling insurance fraud cases and who has a proven track record of success in defending clients against criminal charges.
- Fees: Discuss the lawyer’s fees and payment arrangements during the consultation. Most lawyers charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for their services, but it’s important to understand how fees will be handled and whether any additional costs may be incurred.
- Communication: Choose a lawyer who communicates well and keeps you informed about the progress of your case. You should feel comfortable asking questions and receiving updates about your case throughout the legal process.
- Decision: After considering all of the above factors, make a decision about which lawyer you want to hire to defend you against insurance fraud charges.