From New York to California, states make their own efforts to enforce fraud laws. Since they have an oversight role when it comes to nursing homes, they also try to catch financial misconduct of nursing homes that they regulate. State recoveries in criminal fraud cases jumped to over $2 million in 2019.
A Curious Case in Alaska
Most of the spike in recoveries came from one case in Alaska. The case was an unusual one that started when a resident of the nursing home murdered their caretaker and was given a 60-year prison sentence. The police got involved because they wanted to talk to the other caretakers to inquire as to their safety. The facility had billed Medicare for three additional caretakers. The problem was that the three caretakers the nursing home was billing for did not actually exist, and the facility was submitting fraudulent invoices to Medicare.
The Nursing Home Was Fined
The government fined the nursing home over $2 million for its fraudulent practices. The government is also seeking more than $1 million in restitution. When there is fraud involved, the government is generally aggressive in trying to get the money back. Sometimes, an attorney may help their client stay out of jail by using a promise to pay fines and restitution to negotiate with the government.
As you can see, being accused of fraud can have serious consequences, including fines and possible jail time. A criminal defense attorney may be helpful in dealing with prosecutors if you are being investigated for a white-collar offense. Many white-collar cases end up in plea agreements, and an attorney might help negotiate a plea bargain. If there is no deal, they may represent you when your case goes to trial. Those who submit invoices to the government may find themselves on the other end of payment demands for various reasons and may need the assistance of a lawyer.