The scary thing about many white collar crimes is that, in many cases, an upstanding Indiana resident can find themselves on the receiving end of criminal charges for what from their perspective was simple carelessness. In other cases, someone who thought he or she was just doing what everyone did, saving time, or the like will wind dealing with a criminal accusation of fraud.
Indianapolis residents have to pay particular attention to these risks when it comes to filing insurance claims after accidents or other unexpected losses. Insurance carriers have the right and even the duty to aggressively detect insurance fraud and, upon discovering it, work with authorities to get a conviction.
In Indiana, insurance fraud in connection with a claim is a felony. Penalties for this offense are stiffer if a person who gets convicted has a prior conviction for insurance fraud or, in connection with the crime, caused more than $2,500 in losses to the victim, even if the person accused actually received a lot less in the course of the fraud.
The thing about insurance fraud is that just about any false statement can lead to an accusation. Even information that might be true but incomplete or misleading can result in a criminal charge. On a practical level, insurance fraud does not just apply to people who set out to fake insurance claims. Someone who, whether innocently or otherwise, padded a claim with extra expenses may also face a criminal charge.
While in some cases a person will simply need help getting over an error in judgment, in other cases, what looks like fraud on paper may in fact just be a profound misunderstanding, often caused by the fact that a person just does not know how insurance works. In both cases, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can prove to be essential.