Felony Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Through First Degrees
In New York, the crime of Insurance Fraud has to evolve from some base level of conduct. Whether your criminal lawyer is defending you in the face of a fraud or larceny in the thousands or millions of dollars, the basis of any Insurance Fraud allegation is found in New York Penal Law 176.10, Insurance Fraud in the Fifth Degree.
What appears to be a fairly concise statute, but has numerous underlying definitions, Insurance Fraud in the Fifth Degree is the basic fraud statute in New York in terms of crimes involving insurance. Simply put, if you perpetrate a “fraudulent insurance act,” regardless of the monetary loss or gain, you are guilty of this misdemeanor offense.
In order for prosecutors to bump up or raise the degree of Insurance Fraud to a felony offense, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that not only did you commit a fraudulent insurance act, but you wrongfully took or obtained (or attempted to do the same) any property (often times currency) that is worth more than $1,000. Directly relevant to the degree of the felony is the value of the property
- New York Penal Law 176.15 – Fourth Degree Insurance Fraud: More than $1,000, but less than or equal to $3,000.
- New York Penal Law 176.20 – Third Degree Insurance Fraud: More than $3,000, but less than or equal to $50,000.
- New York Penal Law 176.25 – Second Degree Insurance Fraud: More than $50,000, but less than or equal to $1,000,000.
- New York Penal Law 176.30 – First Degree Insurance Fraud: More than $1,000,000.
Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree through First Degree is punishable by up to four, seven, fifteen and twenty five years in state prison respectively.
As noted in the main page for New York Insurance Fraud, often time insurance related crimes are associated with other criminal offenses. If an organized crew is involved in the thefts, then Enterprise Corruption, a “B” felony, may be charged. Alternatively, because the Insurance Fraud statute mimics the Grand Larceny statute in terms of loss value, a Grand Larceny crime may also be brought by prosecutors in New York City or beyond. What additional crimes are charged, may be charged and defenses to these offenses are all issues and factors to be vetted and discussed with a criminal lawyer who is familiar with the facts of your own unique case.
For a wealth of information on New York white collar crimes, follow the respective links. A wealth of information on these and other crimes can also be found by searching the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog.
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