Three Most Common Types Of White Collar Crimes In Hillsborough County
Over the past several years, the general crime rate in Florida has declined significantly. That’s mostly due to a decrease in the number of violent crimes, or at least a decrease in the number of reported violent crimes. Meanwhile, the number of white-collar crimes and other financial crimes is essentially unchanged. Like many other offenses, white-collar crimes have significant direct and collateral consequences. In fact, in many cases, the collateral effects, such as the way these offenses affect a professional career.
A Tampa healthcare fraud attorney can reduce, or even eliminate, the direct and collateral consequences of a white-collar criminal conviction. These cases have a number of moving parts, so they are quite time-consuming for prosecutors to present in court. Therefore, prosecutors are usually motivated to offer favorable deals, especially if the evidence is weak and/or the alleged victim suffered no actual financial losses.
Government prosecutors very aggressively pursue charges against doctors and other medical professionals who allegedly defraud Medicare and other government programs. The most common types of fraud in this area are using the wrong medical code to increase reimbursement and performing unnecessary services.
Both these activities might or might not be fraudulent. Medicare and other medical coding jobs are quite technical and rather mind-numbing. That’s especially true since many coders now work in unsupervised, remote environments. There’s a significant difference between an unintentional mistake and intentionally upcoding a service.
Furthermore, words like “unnecessary” are rather subjective. Many doctors order multiple diagnostic tests and other procedures out of an abundance of caution. That’s especially true in urban areas, like Tampa Bay, where courts field a large number of medical malpractice cases. Defensive medicine might not be the best approach for a patient, but it’s certainly not fraudulent.
Credit Card Abuse
Many people associate credit card abuse with identity theft and dumpster diving. These things certainly happen. But most credit card fraud cases involve disputes about the permission, or lack thereof, to use the card.
One typically situation is the unauthorized use of a business card. Generally, the boss only lays out the permissible uses. The boss says nothing about impermissible uses. In other situations, a defendant uses a card for a semi-authorized purpose, the boss says nothing, and the defendant understandably assumes future such uses are authorized.
Lack of intent is sometimes an issue in these cases as well. Some people misuse credit cards to get revenge against the cardholder or simply to prove that they can do it.
Intent is especially an issue in bribery cases. Current law requires prosecutors to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there was a quid pro quo agreement. In other words, the bureaucrat or office-holder promised special treatment in a specific situation in exchange for a specific amount of money. A mere expectation or hope of relief is not sufficient. If it was, any sizeable campaign contribution could involve bribery issues. Typically, that’s the reason people give money to political candidates.
On a related note, most white-collar crimes are specific intent crimes. The defendant must intend both the conduct, which in this case is offering a bribe, and the result, which is preferential treatment. So, these cases are especially difficult to prove in court.
Rely on an Experienced Hillsborough County Attorney
White-collar crimes have lots of moving parts. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.