A NY Insurance Fraud Lawyer Explains Life Insurance Fraud
Life insurance policies pay out upon the death of the policyholder. Life insurance fraud takes two possible forms: faking your own death so the proceeds can be collected, or murdering someone else in order to obtain the death benefit from a life insurance policy. Life insurance scams can also include misappropriation of life insurance premiums, selling policies under false pretenses, or purchasing policies under false pretenses.
Both faking your own death and murder for policy proceeds are very serious criminal offenses. Aside from charges of insurance fraud, you could also face homicide charges that could mean life in prison. You need to get legal help from a New York criminal defense lawyer with experience in both fraud and violent offenses and you need to be proactive in building your defenses as soon as you are under investigation. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC will be there to help you at every step if you are accused of being involved in a life insurance fraud scheme.
What is Life Insurance Fraud?
Insurance fraud, in general, involves making false, misleading or deceptive statements for the purposes of improperly acquiring funds from an insurance company.
The simplest form of life insurance fraud involves lying on an application for a life insurance policy. If you conceal serious medical conditions for purposes of qualifying for a policy you wouldn’t otherwise receive, the insurer can deny the death benefit claim when you pass away. If the deception is identified before your death, the policy will be cancelled. You could face prosecution for fraud under these circumstances, but this type of “soft-fraud” is not likely to trigger the same level of serious penalties as other types of life insurance fraud.
Stranger-oriented life insurance is also considered a scam by insurance companies, although state laws vary on whether the practice is illegal. Stranger-oriented life insurance occur when an elderly person buys a life insurance policy in order to sell it to investors or hedge fund companies. Policy buyers are paid a fee for their involvement in the transaction. The life insurance company could sue, and criminal charges could follow for all involved depending upon state law and how the purchase transaction is structured. Seniors who don’t report the taxes from profiting from the sale could be charged with fraud, even when they don’t realize they are involved with a criminal act.
Some life insurance fraud scams involve life insurance agents who misappropriate client premiums instead of purchasing life insurance or who market policies to people (usually seniors) that are inappropriate for their needs.
Finally, faking death or disability, or causing the death of another are much more serious life insurance fraud offenses than other types of scams. Both involve complex plots and both can trigger state or federal charges that can lead to a lengthy prison sentence.
Murder for Proceeds
Life insurance policies generally pay out when someone was murdered, but the person who did the killing is not allowed to benefit from his crime. Whether you are accused of hiring a hit man or actually committing the murder yourself, the legal consequences of life insurance fraud involving murder for proceeds are going to be significant.
You need to be prepared to defend against criminal charges for involvement with the murder, as well as to fight to avoid fraud accusations and keep your life insurance policy. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has represented clients accused of homicide, and our attorneys are also experienced in insurance fraud crimes. We will work hard on all legal fronts for you so you can try to avoid being convicted of any crimes and get to keep the proceeds of the life insurance policy. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON:
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Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Penalties for Life Insurance Fraud
Faking your own death is not in itself a crime. However, those who claim a life insurance policy under false pretenses are guilty of a fraud offense. If you are a part of the conspiracy in any way, whether you are the person who “dies” or whether you file a false police report, are a false witness to the death, or make the insurance claim, you can be charged with all fraud crimes committed by your co-conspirators. The person who “dies” when faking his own death is also going to be guilty of fraud against car and mortgage lenders, as well as fraud when using false documents to create a new identity.
Numerous federal and state laws apply to different types of life insurance fraud. For example, 18 U.S. Code Section 1033 imposes criminal penalties for false statements or misrepresentations made by people who are involved in the business of insurance whose activities affect interstate commerce. A life insurance agent who is involved in a scam could face as long as 10 years imprisonment for participation in the scheme. New York laws also address insurance fraud in Article 176, with penalties varying depending upon the amount of money involved in the fraud scheme.
A NY Life Insurance Fraud Lawyer Can Help
When you are facing state or federal criminal charges arising out of allegations of life insurance fraud, there are options available to you. You may be able to enter into a plea agreement to reduce charges and minimize penalties, or you may be able to avoid conviction entirely through a successful defense.