Every year in the United States, healthcare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $270 billion. Of this, approximately $140 billion is due to Medicaid fraud alone. These staggering sums add up to significant portions of the total U.S. federal budget, making the reduction of Medicaid fraud and healthcare fraud in general a top priority for both state and federal enforcement bodies.
The state of New York has not been excepted from the scourge of Medicaid fraud. As a result of sharply increasing rates of the crime throughout the state, New York State is now devoting more resources than ever to stopping fraud of all kinds taking place through its Medicaid system. This has resulted in a huge increase in the number of arrests. Many of those arrested have strong defenses against the accusations and have simply been caught up in the zeal to prosecute as many Medicaid fraud cases as possible.
If you find yourself under investigation for Medicaid fraud in the state of New York, the first thing that you should do is to contact a competent lawyer. Medicaid fraud cases are often highly defensible, and a good lawyer can make the difference between prison time and the dismissal of a case.
The state of New York has a quirk in the way that Medicaid fraud cases are investigated. Rather than being investigated by police or detectives, as are almost all other types of crime, Medicaid fraud cases are, instead, investigated by the Human Resources Administration, the same agency that handles such things as food stamps and child welfare benefits.
When someone is under investigation for Medicaid fraud, the first sign they will usually get is a letter from the HRA. The letter is often written in benign-sounding bureaucratic language and simply requests that the recipient come in for an interview with an agent.
Do not be fooled by the apparently innocent tone of these letters. If you receive a letter from the HRA requesting that you come in for an interview regarding your Medicaid usage or benefits, it is almost guaranteed that you are the target of an investigation regarding serious Medicaid fraud. It is likely that the agents already have spent dozens or even hundreds of hours investigating your case and know far more about you and your situation than they will let on. The sole reason that they have asked you to come in for an interview is to induce you to make self-incriminating or self-impeaching statements that they can use to create a slam-dunk case against you.
It is absolutely imperative that, at this point, you get an experienced and skilled lawyer who specializes in New York Medicaid fraud cases on your side. Although the investigators work for a civilian agency, Medicaid fraud is an extremely serious crime that can result in major fines, restitution and even lengthy prison sentences. You are usually under no legal obligation to talk to the investigators. And an experienced lawyer who knows that process well can help you navigate the often tricky waters of the HRA and the court system.
Even if you have clearly acted improperly and have deliberately committed a crime, the chances are high that with the right lawyer you will be able to negotiate a settlement that does not involve jail time. But if you really have not intended to commit any crime, there is a good possibility that the charges can be dismissed outright.
Medicaid fraud cases have some unique features that allow lawyers to put up particularly strong defenses and negotiate good settlements for their clients. There are often many mitigating factors present. For example, if the prosecution cannot show that an oversight, such as not fully reporting income from a side job, was deliberate, the default assumption will be that it was an innocent mistake. Raising enough doubt of this kind can make the more serious charges inappropriate. If prosecutors cannot show that there was definite intent to defraud, the felony charges associated with Medicaid fraud will often be dismissed.
Another unique aspect of Medicaid fraud cases is that prosecutors know that a very high percentage of defendants who are charged with these crimes will go to trial. This is primarily due to the fact that the collateral consequences of being guilty of Medicaid fraud, such as permanent disqualification from all future benefits and losing one’s medical licenses, are so severe that many patients will not accept a plea deal.
This is where the services of an experienced lawyer can really make a difference. The mere presence of an experienced lawyer, who the prosecutor knows will mount a strong defense, is often enough to dissuade them from risking hundreds of man hours and thousands of dollars in court resources prosecuting a case that they may well ultimately lose.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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