The act of filing falsified workers’ compensation claims is a criminal act. Workers’ compensation fraud is a serious criminal offense that could result in confinement in state prison or county jail, steep fines, and other notable consequences. You could fight back against these charges with the help of a Martinez workers’ compensation fraud attorney who could help guide you from the beginning of your case to the end. Do not hesitate to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
The offense of workers’ compensation fraud is governed by California Insurance Code § 1871.4. This statute makes it unlawful to knowingly make a fraudulent misrepresentation in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. This could involve a written statement, an oral statement, or some other form of material representation. It also applies to any person that assists, conspires, aids, or solicits another person to seek benefits through fraudulent means.
There are numerous ways that a fraudulent statement could result in improper workers’ compensation benefits. Often, these cases involve a person filing a fraudulent injury claim with their employer’s insurer. This type of fraud could involve a person faking an injury or seeking benefits for an injury that was not work-related.
Workers’ compensation fraud can also involve claims of “double-dipping.” Double-dipping is the act of seeking benefits from more than one source. For example, it could involve a person filing an injury claim with two different employers based on the same injury. The end result of this type of fraud would be the insurance company paying benefits for the same injury twice.
There are multiple factors that will determine the potential sentence for a conviction of workers’ compensation fraud. This type of fraud is considered a “wobbler” under state law. A wobbler is a crime that could be either a felony or a misdemeanor. It is up to the prosecutor to decide whether to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges.
A misdemeanor offense brings a maximum of one year in county jail. While a felony could result in as much as five years in state prison. It should be noted that worker’s compensation fraud is a crime involving moral turpitude and can be treated as an aggravated felony; therefore, in addition to criminal penalties, there are immigration consequences that can arise and other collateral consequences that can affect an individual’s livelihood, career, and future.
Workers’ compensation fraud cases are notorious for hefty fines and restitution amounts. It is mandatory that restitution be ordered if an individual is convicted of workers’ compensation fraud. In addition to having to pay back restitution of owed amounts, the accused can also face fines in the amount of $150,000 or double the value of the fraud – whichever is greater.
A workers’ compensation fraud lawyer in Martinez can not only help mount a defense and prepare the case for litigation but can also negotiate with the District Attorney about mitigating circumstances or evidentiary issues that could result in a dismissal or a reduction in the charges. If the District Attorney charged this case as a felony, a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer could work on negotiating the felony down to a misdemeanor. A workers’ compensation lawyer can also look for insufficiencies in the evidence that could lead to a dismissal or gaps in the accounting that could lead to a reduction in the restitution amount claimed.
Most cases of workers’ compensation fraud involve a fraudulent statement made by an employee. However, some instances of fraud involve the actions of an employer or a third party. Most of these cases involve a form of kickback from an employee filing a fraudulent claim and a business owner that plays along for a share of the benefits. This type of workers’ compensation fraud is governed by California Insurance Code § 1871.4(3) which makes it unlawful to assist, abet, solicit or conspire with a person in committing workers’ compensation fraud.
It is critical to understand that making fraudulent statements can happen in various ways. A false statement can be included in:
Workers’ compensation fraud can be a minefield and one false move can create a domino effect of serious consequences, so it is important to work with a Martinez defense attorney.
Whether the prosecutor treats the charge as a misdemeanor or a felony, your future remains uncertain when facing prosecution for workers’ compensation fraud. Thankfully, your case is not guaranteed to result in a conviction and a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can work with you and for you in defending against these charges.
With the right legal counsel by your side, you can mount a strong defense to the fraud charges you are facing and have someone to guide you through the stressful process. Talk to a Martinez workers’ compensation fraud lawyer today to learn more.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.
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