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New York Insurance Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

What is insurance fraud?

Insurance fraud is a white collar crime that involves knowingly committing an act with the intent of defrauding an insurance company. Insurance fraud can involve any type of insurance such as homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, life insurance, commercial insurance, and health insurance. Regardless of the type of insurance fraud crime you are accused of, being charged with insurance fraud is serious and you need experienced representation. Contact an experienced New York insurance fraud lawyer for help.

What are the specific insurance fraud offenses?

There are 12 different insurance fraud crimes under section 176 of New York Penal Law: Insurance fraud in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees, and life settlement fraud in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees. Of these 12 criminal offenses 2 are misdemeanors and 10 are felonies.

How are the insurance fraud offenses different from each other?

The main difference between fifth, fourth, third, second and first degree insurance fraud is the amount of money involved. Insurance fraud in the fifth degree is a misdemeanor. It involves knowingly and intentionally doing something to defraud an insurance company such as completing an application for insurance with materially false information. Fifth degree insurance fraud is a class A misdemeanor. Even though it is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is important that you seek the guidance from an experienced insurance fraud attorney in New York, as you can still be incarcerated for up to a year if convicted.

The insurance fraud charge will be bumped up to insurance fraud in the fourth degree, a class E felony, if as a result of the fraudulent act you obtain or attempting to obtain property that is worth more than $1000. If convicted the penalty is up to 4 years in prison. Third degree insurance fraud, a class D felony, involves property worth more than $3000, while second degree insurance fraud, a class C felony, involves property worth more than $50,000. The most serious insurance fraud offense is insurance fraud in the first degree. It involves an act of fraud that results in you obtaining or attempting to obtain property worth over $1 million. It is a class B felony with a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

In addition, there is an insurance fraud crime called aggravated insurance fraud. This is designed to punish repeat insurance fraud offenders. If you commit insurance fraud after being convicted of insurance fraud in the prior 5 years, you will be charged with aggravated insurance fraud in the fourth degree, a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

How are the life settlement fraud offenses different from each other?

Life settlement fraud is a type of insurance fraud that involves committing an act related to a life insurance contract or the payment of a life insurance settlement. As an New York insurance fraud lawyer will explain, just like with the crime of insurance fraud, the main difference between fifth, fourth, third, second and first degree life settlement fraud is the amount of money involved.

  • Life settlement fraud in the fifth degree. The property involved in the fraud is over $1 million. It is a class A misdemeanor with a possible sentence of a year in jail.
  • Life settlement fraud in the fourth degree. The property involved in the fraud is over $25,000. It is a class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
  • Life settlement fraud in the third degree. The property involved in the fraud is over $50,000. It is a class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison.
  • Life settlement fraud in the second degree. The property involved in the fraud is over $100,000. It is a class C felony with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
  • Life settlement fraud in the first degree. The property involved in the fraud is over $1 million. It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

Aggravated life settlement fraud involves committing life settlement fraud after being convicted of life settlement fraud in the prior 5 years. It is a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

Still have questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for help

If you have been charged with insurance fraud, it is important that you have experienced representation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with white collar crimes such as insurance fraud and computer fraud. Contact an insurance fraud attorney serving New York at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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