Insurance fraud is considered a form of white collar crime. White collar crime is defined as a criminal act, usually some type of fraud, performed by someone with a higher than normal social standing or level of education. These types of cases can be prosecuted on either the federal level or the state level, depending on the type of fraud committed, who the victims are, the total dollar amount involved, and more. In some cases, both the US Attorney and the New York State District Attorney could both prosecute. The laws behind insurance fraud can get very complex.
New York Penal Code 176.30 Broken Down
New York Penal Code 176.30 deals with insurance fraud where the property involved has a value in excess of $1 million. People can be charged with insurance fraud when they knowingly give false information to an insurance company with the intent to receive money they are not entitled to receive. Penal code 176.30 deals with insurance fraud in the first degree, which is the most serious insurance fraud crime due to the high dollar amount involved. This is a class “B” felony. Sentences for class B felonies can be quite stiff, with prison terms of up to 25 years plus probation, fines, and restitution.
Examples of Class B Felony, First Degree Insurance Fraud
To qualify under Penal Code 176.30, the total dollar amount must exceed $1 million. One example might be when someone fakes a robbery of a valuable collection just so they can file an insurance claim. Another example might be if someone sets fire to their home to get out from under a mortgage and collect on the homeowner’s insurance. These would both fall under the Penal Code 176.30 if the total value was greater than $1 million. There could be additional charges in both these events in addition to an insurance fraud charge.
There are other instances of insurance fraud where the total amount involved could exceed $1 million. Life insurance fraud and healthcare claims fraud are two such examples. However, these types of insurance fraud are covered under a different Penal Code.
Defenses Against a Charge of First Degree Insurance Fraud
There are many different defense strategies that a good experienced criminal defense attorney can utilize. The first test is always intent. If you didn’t intent to defraud the insurance company or didn’t realize that you were filing a claim with false information, you wouldn’t be guilty of fraud. For example, if a family member removed a piece of valuable property and you thought it was stolen, then that wouldn’t be considered insurance fraud because you didn’t know and didn’t willfully intend to deceive the insurance company. Similarly, if you filed a claim and unknowingly made false statements, that would not be considered fraud. The key is intent. In addition, if the total value of the insurance claim is less than $1 million, than Penal Code 176.3 would not apply and the charges should be reduced.
New York Penal Code 176.30 is a very serious charge that carries substantial fines and potential prison time of up to 25 years. There are defenses that a good experienced New York criminal attorney can utilize to help minimize the sentence, reduce the charges, or even get the case dropped altogether. The most important thing is to contact a good attorney as soon as possible when these type of charges are levied against you. A good defense attorney will examine all the fact and be able to present the best possible defense.