In Florida, someone who is suspected of depriving the government of funds through fraudulent means can be charged with government fraud. The term government fraud covers a wide variety of activities, including bribery, making false claims, and fraudulent Medicare/Medicaid billing practices. Regardless of the specific act alleged, government fraud is a serious charge and is usually aggressively prosecuted. Those who are convicted of this crime face severe consequences, including jail time, so if you or a loved one are being investigated for government fraud, it is critical to speak with an experienced white collar crime attorney who can help you formulate a defense.
One of the most common examples of government fraud is procurement, which involves a company using bribes to win a government contract even when it did not make the lowest bid. A contractor can also be charged with government fraud for the following activities:
- Billing the government for incomplete or inferior work;
- Double billing;
- Falsely certifying the quality of materials, services, or test results;
- Substituting inferior parts or materials;
- Colluding with other contractors;
- Unfairly inflating the cost of labor and supplies; and
- Issuing kickbacks to subcontractors and other companies.
Accusations of contractor fraud are extremely serious, as federal law allows prosecutors to file charges in both criminal and civil court.
It is also a federal offense to file a false claim in an effort to defraud the government. In most cases, these charges are levied against individuals who are accused of filing false claims in order to collect government benefits for which they are not qualified. For example, many government fraud suits involve allegations of healthcare fraud, where a healthcare company is accused of deceptive practices, such as:
- Overestimating clinical costs;
- Requesting reimbursement for lab tests or procedures that were not performed;
- Billing for non-existent patients;
- Billing for more expensive procedures than were actually performed;
- Requesting reimbursement for medically unnecessary services
- Billing Medicare/Medicaid for non-covered services; and
- Billing for multiple services that should have been combined.
Convictions for these types of activities are punishable by fines, mandatory restitution, and jail time. The Medicare and Medicaid programs are not the only government funded programs that fall under the purview of the law prohibiting government fraud. Individuals can also be charged with government fraud in connection with federally funded entitlement programs, such as public housing, agricultural programs, and educational programs.
Contact us Today to Discover How an Experienced South Florida White Collar Crime Attorney Can Help
Being charged with government fraud can have serious consequences, even for those who are eventually absolved of guilt. Having the support and advice of an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of a case, so if you are being investigated for government fraud or another white collar crime, please call Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys at 305-670-9919 to speak with a dedicated white collar crime attorney who can explain your legal options today.