Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm, for our series breakdown on fraud crimes in Michigan, and the many forms they can take. Because fraud and financial crimes are so varied, there is no way to sum them up in one description. For that reason, and in the hopes of making Michigan’s laws about fraud easier to understand, we are explaining the most common forms of fraud to our readers, and answering some common questions about each one.
If you are only joining us now, we recommend that you take a few minutes to go back and look at the topics we’ve covered so far in this series, namely credit card fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and organized retail crime. If however, you’ve been with us from the beginning, let’s jump right in…
What is insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is when someone intentionally deceives an insurance company in order to collect money that they are not entitled to. This usually involves fraudulent claims made under property, life, or automobile insurance policies. The type of fraudulent claims that fall into this category are varied, and range from slightly exaggerating existing claims, to deliberately causing accidents or damage in order to file a claim. It can also range from individual people committing fraud, to complex fraud rings involving many participants.
What are examples of insurance fraud?
Because insurance fraud can take many forms, depending on the situation and the claim being made, there are many things that could count as insurance fraud. The following are some examples of insurance fraud sometimes committed in Detroit, Lansing, Livingston County and Grand Rapids:
- Staging a car collision in order to make a false insurance claims and collect insurance money
- When a legitimate car crash occurs, including other, prior damage to the vehicle in the insurance claim in order to receive a larger payout
- Filing more than one claim for a single injury
- Falsifying injuries in connection with car accidents. A common example of this is whiplash or soft tissue injury.
- Burning down a building in order to receive the homeowner’s insurance payment for the value of the home.
How is insurance fraud discovered?
Depending on the type of fraud, there are many different ways that insurance fraud is detected. Most major insurance companies have fraud detection units. The investigators on staff identify and investigate suspicious insurance claims. Because insurance companies in the US lose billions of dollars every year to insurance fraud, they are willing to spend millions protecting themselves against fraud.
What is the penalty for insurance fraud in Michigan?
Here in Michigan, insurance fraud is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, fines of up to $50,000.00, or both. The defendant may also have to pay restitution to the company they defrauded. Anyone found guilty of conspiring to commit fraud is facing up to 10 years behind bars, fines of up to $50,000.00, or both. In addition, Michigan courts routinely notify the state licensing board when someone is found guilty of fraud, which could mean the loss of your professional license.
What do I do if I’m accused of insurance fraud?
As we’ve said before, if you or someone you love has been accused of insurance fraud, or any type of fraud for that matter, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Do not make a statement to anyone, or agree to talk to the police or even to a private investigator. Do not discuss the case or your side of the story with ANYONE! Just call us right now, and ask for a highly skilled and experienced fraud defense attorney. We have been successfully defending the people of MIchigan against criminal charges for decades. We know what we’re doing, and we can help.