Mobile Phone Insurance Fraud Explained by a NY Criminal Attorney
As cell phones have become increasingly expensive, many phone users purchase mobile phone insurance policies. These policies are intended to provide protection from financial loss if a phone is stolen, water damaged, or otherwise becomes inoperable. Mobile phone insurance policies provide the policyholder with a new phone in the event that a covered loss occurs.
The rise in phone insurance use has resulted in an increase in allegedly fraudulent insurance claims. Some instances of mobile phone insurance fraud are considered minor misdemeanor crimes and are prosecuted on the state level. In other cases, participation in a large-scale fraud scheme can lead to serious felony charges and to federal criminal charges. Even a misdemeanor conviction for insurance fraud can change your life and impact your future, so it is important to ensure that you take steps to protect yourself if you are accused of making a false claim.
At Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, our New York insurance fraud lawyers have handled many mobile phone insurance fraud cases, including representing clients accused of participation in professional fraud rings. We are ready to put our legal knowledge and experience of cell phone insurance fraud case to work to help you.
What is Phone Insurance Fraud?
Phone insurance fraud involves making a false claim with a mobile phone insurer. The goal is to recover monetary payments for losses you do not have a legitimate claim to. Making any false or misleading statements when applying for phone insurance or when making a policy claim can result in you being prosecuted for a criminal offense. If you play any role in a conspiracy to commit cell phone insurance fraud, you can also be charged with any crimes committed as part of the overall fraud scheme.
FT.com reports that “mobile phones have become one of the hottest products for insurance fraudsters to target.” Insurers estimate that as many as 40 percent of all claims on mobile phone insurance policies are fraudulent. This is much higher than other areas of consumer insurance, such as deceitful automobile insurance fraud claims which are estimated to number as few as one out of every 10 claims.
Types of Phone Insurance Fraud
Phone insurance fraud may be as simple as lying about the cause of damage or lying about when damage occurred. A policyholder could claim that a vehicle was accidentally driven over, when the phone was actually damaged intentionally in order to recover the money for it. A policyholder could also claim that a phone was stolen when it wasn’t, or was lost when the phone was actually kept, sold, or given to a friend.
In other cases, phone owners will attempt to commit fraud by buying multiple policies on the same phone and then claiming theft, loss or damage in order to recover the money for the phone from multiple insurance providers. Because many different brands of phone insurance are owned or managed by the same company, these types of scams are often identified quickly by insurers. 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
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
Not all cell phone insurance fraud scams just involve a phone owner. The California Insurance Commission reported on the arrest of five employees of mobile phone service providers who were accused of participating in a large-scale scheme to defraud phone insurers of more than $900,000. The employees were accused of accessing customer account details, finding customers with high-end phones, and filing more than 1,900 insurance claims for phones allegedly stolen or damaged.
Whether you are accused of participating in an organized scheme to defraud or accused of simply making a false claim with your insurer, you need to understand the charges you face, explore defenses, and decide how to approach your criminal charges. Let a NY insurance fraud lawyer help with the process.
Penalties for Cell Phone Insurance Fraud
Mobile phone insurance fraud generally results in state-level prosecution. Article 176 of the NY Penal Code makes it a misdemeanor to commit any type of insurance fraud, or a felony to commit insurance fraud when $1,000 or greater is at stake. The more money involved in the fraud scheme, the more serious the charges and the more stringent the penalties. Filing a false police report in cases of a staged theft, or obtaining someone else’s identity to make a fraudulent claim with their information, can lead to additional serious charges on the state or federal level.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation for all types of insurance fraud crimes, white collar crimes, and identity theft offenses. No matter what you are accused of, we can help you to try to minimize the consequences or avoid conviction.
Contact a NY Fraud Lawyer With Experience in Mobile Phone Insurance Fraud
A NY fraud lawyer with experience in mobile insurance fraud cases will help you to build a defense so the prosecutor cannot meet the burden of proving you’re guilty. Your attorney can also help you negotiate a plea deal so you can avoid jail time, face lesser charges, or get the minimum sentence possible. Call Bukh Law Firm, PLLC today to learn more about how we can provide you with strong legal advocacy as you fight serious criminal charges.