Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Medicare fraud and potential civil and criminal penalties

There comes a time in some individuals' lives where he or she is required to submit claims to the federal government. This may seem like a menial task, however, the details provided by those living in Louisiana and elsewhere are taken at face value. While human error can take place, it is believed that a person deliberately lied on some of these claims; this could be deemed a false claim.

Based on the False Claim Act, the federal government, and even private individuals in some cases, are allowed to sue a person or entity making fraudulent claims. In order to face criminal charges under this act, it must be proved that the Act was violated.

Violation of this law occurs when evidence indicates that there is some form of knowledge that the information is false or there was deliberate ignorance regarding the false information contained on the claim. This means that an inadvertent clerical mistake is not enough to face penalties for violating this Act. On the contrary, if it is proven that a person knowingly submitted fraudulent information, for example of a Medicare claim, the penalties he or she faces can be severe.

When a person is accused of Medicare fraud or submitting any other false claim, he or she could face civil and criminal penalties. With regards to civil penalties, the accused could endure fines between $5,000 and $10,000 per claim. However, in addition to these claims, the government has the ability to recover treble damages, which is triple the amount the loss due to a false claim. In addition to facing these very high fines, an individual could face criminal charges, which carry fines and prison terms.

While it may seem like an innocent act or situation, Medicare fraud and other similar criminal allegations are serious. These crimes carry with them severe penalties, making it evident that initiating a defense action is important. Taking steps to defend yourself could help reduce and even avoid penalties.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map