Many people think of insurance fraud as no big deal. After all, insurance companies are big and charge money for things that haven’t happened yet.
The government of Minnesota doesn’t see it that way. It not only demands that any one convicted of the crime pay back what they got, but also goes to jail or pays a steep fine. It defines insurance fraud broadly, and includes people you wouldn’t expect. If you are in Minnesota and think you might be accused of insurance fraud, here are the basics that you need to know.
Insurance fraud, according to the Minnesota Statute 609.611, happens when anyone intending to defraud lies or allows their employees to lie to an insurer, insurance professional, or premium finance company in connection with an insurance or premium finance transaction. The government of Minnesota will even charge you if you merely prepared the presentation of the facts concerning the insurance fraud and knew, or had a reason to know, the false presentations would be made to someone.
There is a time limit for prosecuting insurance fraud. No one can start prosecuting a charge after 7 years, but so long as the company or law enforcement starts investigating before then, they start counting down the time they have when they hear about the case.
Due to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, someone who is convicted of insurance fraud’s punishment will depend on how much the property, service or benefit they got unlawfully was worth and if they have a criminal record.
1. If the value is between $1,000 and $5,000, then the accused can get up to 5 years in jail and a fine of $10,000.
2. For a value of $5,000 to $35,000, the accused can get up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
3. If the accused is convicted of defrauding someone of more than $35,000, he or she can get up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $100,000.
4. For $500 to $1,000, the accused can get up to a year in jail or a fine of $3,000.
5. If the value is under $500, then the accused can get up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Having any previous convictions will make the fines steeper and jail time longer. The accused will also have to pay back whatever he or she is accused of stealing. As a general rule, this will be on top of the fine or jail time.
This is the very basics of insurance fraud law. The broad terms and big punishments require the help of a lawyer experienced in these types of cases. Anderson Law Firm has years of experience aggressively fighting insurance fraud cases, so if are being accused of insurance fraud, contact us.