Insurance fraud is a crime that dates back to the very invention of the concept of insurance. As such, it's one of the more widely understood white collar crimes in American jurisprudence. Whether you're facing a state or a federal charge, insurance fraud should be taken seriously.
While insurance fraud does not carry with it the harshest sentence, a conviction can still represent a dramatic disruption to your everyday life. Fines, jail sentences and other sanctions can result from an insurance fraud conviction.
Bill Nettles is a South Carolina defense attorney with ample experience in insurance fraud cases. He can help you in this difficult time.
If you live anywhere in South Carolina and you need a defense attorney with ample insurance fraud experience, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.
Examples of Insurance Fraud
Defined broadly, insurance fraud is the use of deception to get money they don't deserve from insurance companies. These companies don't exactly make the most sympathetic of victims, but the cost of fraud is often passed on to consumers, so prosecutors make such fraud a priority.
Specific forms of insurance fraud include:
- "Soft" insurance fraud, in which a defendant allegedly "beefs up" an otherwise legitimate claim by exaggerating the value of damaged or stolen property – a five-year-old 24-inch television stolen from an apartment becomes a brand new 48-inch plasma screen, for example
- "Hard" insurance, which is a more deliberate and involved deception – these crimes involve staging accidents and even physical injuries in order to collect from an insurance policy
Such fraud can affect:
- Health insurance
- Auto insurance
- Life insurance
- Property insurance
Exactly how harsh is sentencing for insurance fraud? That depends on the extent and severity of the fraud. Under South Carolina law, any individual who commits insurance fraud and receives benefits of less than $10,000 is guilty of a misdemeanor. Fraud that exceeds $10,000 is a felony.
In the case of misdemeanor insurance fraud, those convicted can pay up to a $1,000 fine and face up to three years in jail. A felony insurance fraud conviction can result in at least a 10-year jail sentence.
South Carolina's attorney general vigorously pursues insurance fraud, and, in fact, trumpets this fact on his dedicated website. You should take an insurance fraud charge seriously and retain our serious, experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
If you've been accused of insurance fraud or any other white collar crime in South Carolina, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.