For those facing insurance fraud charges, whether as a customer or representative of an insurance company, this is a scary time, but this is something that many have already gone through. Indeed, insurance fraud is one of the most commonly charged white-collar crimes in the United States, only ranked behind tax fraud and evasion.
Who faces charges?
While most may think the only people that face insurance fraud charges are criminals and organized crime groups, that simply is not the case. Anyone can be caught up in the wide net that the government throws, catching ordinary citizens, along with medical, business and legal professionals.
Insurance fraud is a felony under Nevada law. Those who are convicted can face up to four years in prison. In addition, the judge can order restitution to the insurance company, along with the costs associated with the investigation and prosecution. Plus, fines of up to $5,000 can be imposed.
Who investigates Nevada insurance fraud accusations?
By law, insurance companies must report all suspicious insurance claims to National Insurance Crime Bureau. In fact, to comply with this law, some insurance companies have their own investigative team. The NICB then investigates the matters referred to them by insurance companies, and if they believe there is cause, it is referred to the Nevada Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Unit.
Insurance Fraud Unit
The IFU has its own investigators and prosecutors, along with support staff, in both Las Vegas and Reno. Though, they prosecute and investigate throughout the state. They criminally prosecute those to make material misrepresentations for insurance purposes, or those that help people make such a misrepresentation. This can be a false claim or lying to an insurance company. Though, the IFU does not cover simple disputes between those insured and their policy holders. Those are handled by the Nevada Insurance Commissioner.
Unfortunately, because disputes can escalate and both the insured and the insurance companies have wildly different interests, it can be in one’s best interest to prepare for insurance litigation. This can be through an attorney, or on one’s own. But, preparation is key.