Arkansas Injury Lawyer Says Insurance Fraud Costs Taxpayers Money
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) March 8, 2012 - People committing insurance fraud are shocked when the law catches up to them. Fraud does not save anyone money.
“People think insurance companies are big business and they can afford to take a hit or two on fudged insurance claims. If everyone decided to commit insurance fraud, the only people that ultimately pay are those who committed fraud and the rest of the honest customers whose premiums are hiked to pay for the fraud,” explains Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
What constitutes insurance fraud? From the smallest of things, like omitting some details about a claim to the largest of fraud attempts like putting in a claim for a non-existent accident, fraudsters are becoming very creative in finding ways to beat the system.
“I am reminded of several cases relating to insurance fraud; cases that point out that it comes in many forms,” added Smith. For example, a clinical counselor who billed for counseling services he was not licensed to provide. He got 30 days in jail, a fine of more than $53,000 and five years of community service.
“Former insurance agents are not immune from trying to rip off the system either,” Smith said. Examples include the case of a former agent pleading guilty to handing in false auto repair claims with the aid of a local repair shop owner. The agent got three years of community service. The other man involved got two. And they had to pay restitution in the amount of $13,000.
Fraud may be on a small scale or a larger one, such as the case of two men who ultimately pled guilty to numerous counts of telecommunications fraud, insurance fraud, theft and identity theft. There was not much they had not tried. One man has to serve four years of community service and pay $15,000 in restitution. The other is serving just over two years in jail, paying $15,000 in restitution and faces three years of community service on release from prison.
The award for creative effort would go to two men who faked car theft and then burned the vehicles to destroy the evidence. It was almost good enough to fool the insurance company, but not quite. The two men pled to insurance fraud and attempted arson. The accomplice was ordered to pay $11,000 in restitution and serve three years of community service. The main instigator landed in jail for two months, had to repay $11,000 and faces three years of community service.
“It’s quite clear that insurance fraud does not pay, and yet oddly enough, people continue to try and get away with it. Frankly, if you don’t want to land in jail and face large fines and have to repay what you stole, it just isn’t worth the hassle, the record and the humiliation,” Smith added.
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