Issue of fraudulent intent an important one in criminal defense

Health care fraud, as Florida readers are aware, is a big business across the United States and here in Florida. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tens of billions of public tax dollars are lost to health care fraud every year, and that number is increasing. Because the threat is so great, federal authorities have been increasing efforts to target health care fraud in recent years. Florida is a significant hot spot for fraud of all kinds, including health care fraud.

To take one recent example, a total of nine hospitals and a local ambulance company in Jacksonville agreed last month to settle civil charges that they submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare. Authorities said the ambulance rides were medically unnecessary.

While most of the parties targeted in the investigation participated in the settlement, one ambulance company—Liberty Ambulance—did not. The company reportedly refused to participate in the settlement on the grounds that there was no actual intent to commit fraud. The company maintains that the mistakes were due to confusing Medicare billing rules, and that such mistakes are ordinarily corrected as soon as they are noticed.

While it isn’t clear how far that defense will go in the civil case, the point about intent is an important one to keep in mind. In criminal fraud cases, it is necessary for prosecutors to demonstrate that the defendant had intent to defraud.  Doing so is not always a straightforward matter, though. In our next post, we’ll speak more about this issue and how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help scrutinize the strength of evidence supporting criminal intent in federal fraud cases.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Badge 1
  • Badge 2
  • Badge 3
  • Badge 4
  • Badge 5
  • Badge 6
  • Badge 7
  • Badge 8

Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA for a free case evaluation today

In Tampa, call (813) 345-4909. In Orlando, call (888) 496-5916 . For fast answers, email us using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Footer Brand

Tampa Bay Office
511 West Bay Street Suite 330
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 813-345-4909
Tampa Law Office Map

Central Florida Office
121 South Orange Avenue Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
Orlando Law Office Map

South Florida Office
Northbridge Tower
515 North Flagler Drive
Suite P-300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
South Florida Office Map

South Florida Office
Brickell Bay Office Tower
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Suite 2700 M-1
Miami, FL 33131

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 305-859-0046
Miami Law Office Map