What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of Insurance Fraud

What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of Insurance Fraud

A recent story in Buzzfeed chronicled several alarming tales of individuals who ended up falsely accused of insurance fraud. What did they do to trigger suspicion against them?


They simply filed a claim. And for whatever reason, the insurance company decided the claim appeared fraudulent. They turned it over to local law enforcement and local law enforcement made an arrest, on a shockingly small amount of evidence.


It’s enough to make anyone afraid of filing a claim. If you can’t file a claim when you need to, then insurance is useless. And most of us have to purchase at least a small amount of insurance for legal reasons. This story certainly makes writing that monthly premium check sting just a little bit more!


Criminal charges can cause a massive amount of damage in your life even if you successfully prove you’re innocent. Unfortunately, once the process starts, all you can do is fight for your life and hold on as best as you can.


But you’re not without hope. There are several defenses an experienced criminal defense attorney can make when defending you against insurance fraud charges.


  1. It was impossible for you to commit fraud. For example, in the Buzzfeed story the driver/owner of the missing truck wasn’t even in the state at the time of the theft.
  2. You had no intention of committing fraud. Making an honest mistake when you file your claim is not a criminal act.
  3. There was a mistake of fact. For example, perhaps someone did set your car on fire, which set you up for an arson charge in addition to an insurance fraud charge. But it wasn’t you, and you had no reason to avoid filing the claim.


In the event that you are not innocent (i.e., you had a valid claim but “fudged” the numbers to get just a little more money) it may be wiser to work with your attorney to create a palatable plea deal, unless the prosecutor truly doesn’t have enough evidence to convict.


And, of course, in the event the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence, it may be possible to get your charges dropped or dismissed, regardless of your guilt or innocence.


No matter what, try to keep your calm.


  • Hire a lawyer as soon as you know there’s trouble.
  • Direct your attorney towards sources of exculpatory evidence, as well as to witnesses who can help defend you in court.
  • Do not speak to the insurance company.
  • Do not speak to the police. They are not trying to help you. They’re trying to gather evidence against you. Telling them “your side of the story” will not help.
  • If police do not have a warrant to search your property, do not allow them to do so.
  • If police do not have a warrant for your arrest, take their card, inform them you’ll have your attorney contact them immediately, and then do so.


If the court finds that you committed an act of fraud resulting in at least $1000 in damages you’ll be facing felony charges.


If you’re facing these kinds of allegations, contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman for a free consultation.


See also:


Did You Just Commit Credit Card Fraud?


5 Common Kinds of Welfare Fraud


What to Do If You Are Accused of Bankruptcy Fraud in New York City