A Pennsylvania man who was accused of being involved in a fraud scheme was taken into police custody as reported on Dec. 22. The report stated that the man was accused of lying to his insurance company following a car accident.
The accused man, identified as a 47-year-old Mercer County resident, was just one of 20 who were charged in the insurance sweep. The sweep was reportedly instigated by the insurance fraud section of the Attorney General's office, which stated that insurance fraud cost the industry billions of dollars in losses every year. This particular individual was charged with one count of insurance fraud.
Pennsylvania established the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority, or IFPA, in 1994. Any insurance company based in Pennsylvania is required to pay an annual fee to IFPA, which provides financial support to law enforcement agencies that investigate and prosecute instances of alleged fraud scheme.
Depending on the size of the fraud scheme, a person who is charged with fraud may face certain consequences, including expensive fines, a prison sentence and probation. However, a criminal defense attorney could potentially defend their client against the accusations if the evidence against their client is weak. For example, the accused person may argue that they had no knowledge that they were committing fraud or were not actually attempting to commit fraud. There may also be evidence that the authorities violated the accused person's rights either during the investigation or when taking the accused person into custody. If evidence of this is found, the defendant may either have the charges against them be dropped or may have the ability to negotiate a lesser charge with more lenient punishments.
Source: WFMJ.com, "Mercer County man caught in statewide insurance fraud sweep", December 22, 2014