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Fraud Crimes in Florida

Within the past ten years, the three most populous South Florida counties — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade — have become renowned for fraudulent schemes that cost the government, businesses and individuals millions of dollars each year. Like other types of economic crimes, fraud can be prosecuted in either state or federal court.

The definition of fraud involves copying something to look like the real thing to mislead another or using dishonest methods to wrongfully take something of value from another. Law enforcement officers aggressively investigate these crimes which can involve huge losses. The most common schemes to defraud involve much smaller losses that are aggregated.

Attorney for Fraud in Palm Beach County, FL

If you were arrested for any type of fraud offense in Delray Beach or West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County or in the surrounding areas of South Florida, including Broward County or Miami-Dade County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at McLaughlin Morris, P.A.. Our attorneys represent clients on a variety of different types of fraud cases throughout South Florida. Call today at (561) 404-0529 for a free consultation to discuss your case.


Types of Fraud Crimes in Florida

Different types of fraud crimes in Florida include:

Health Care Fraud - Health care fraud occurs when a business or individual defrauds an insurance company or government health care program such as Medicare or Florida's Medicaid program. 

Medicare Fraud - Since 2007 nine regional “strike forces” of the Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services departments have charged about 2,300 people who falsely billed Medicare for $7 billion. More than 1500 of those defendants were charged in South Florida in federal court. Many of these cases involve participants in large organizations with doctors, administrators and patients willing to accept kickbacks.

Medicaid Fraud - Intentionally defrauding Florida's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices results in millions of dollars in loses to taxpayers. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers. Common Medicare schemes involve doctors, dentists, clinics and other health care providers billing for services never performed, over billing for services provided, or billing for tests, services and products that are medically unnecessary. These cases are prosecuted in state court.

Insurance Fraud - In Florida, most insurance fraud allegations are investigated by the Division of Insurance Fraud and prosecuted in state court. Crimes of insurance fraud can be perpetrated by individual citizens, insurance agents, insurance companies and businesses.  

Mortgage Fraud - Since 2009, Florida has led the nation in mortgage fraud as a percentage of the number of loans originated. A financial industry index of mortgage fraud ranks the South Florida metropolitan area first in the nation with 12.3 percent of all such fraud reports in 2013. In many of these cases, a mortgage banker paid kickbacks to borrowers whose applications for Federal Housing Administration loans were falsified so they would qualify for a mortgage. The loans were then sold to banks and other institutions for a profit.

Securities Fraud - Fraud involving the sale of securities in, to or from Florida by firms that are not in compliance with Florida law are classified as securities fraud. The participants in such schemes can include securities dealers, issuer dealers and investment advisers.

Workers' Compensation Fraud - Claims of workers' compensation fraud are investigated by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (WC) Fraud which receives more than 1,000 referrals each year. One of the five Bureau squads is located in West Palm Beach and another is located in Miami. The MSB squad includes Division Detectives from the West Palm Beach and Broward Field Offices, as well as two Broward County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and one Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Detective.

Identity Theft - The Federal Trade Commission found that the State of Florida ranks first in identity theft complaints at about 193 per 100,000 residents in 2013. Just the greater Miami area had 340 complaints per 100,000 residents in 2013.

Tax Return and Refund Fraud - A recent report from the U.S. Treasury Department shows that in South Florida, the number of false federal income tax returns is 46 times the national average. Across the United States, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Inspector General for tax administration estimated that in 2012, more than 787,000 potentially undetected fraudulent tax returns were filed, totaling more than $2.1 billion in refunds.


Additional Resources

Medicaid Fraud - West Palm Beach Office - Visit the website of the Florida Office of the Attorney General to find information about the Medicaid fraud control unit for Palm Beach County which is located in West Palm Beach, FL

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Office of the Attorney General
1515 N. Flagler Drive, Suite 900
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Telephone: 561-837-5825
Fax: 561-837-5100

FBI on Common Fraud Schemes - Visit the website of the Federal Bureau of Investigations to learn more about common fraud schemes involving telemarketing fraud, identity theft, advance fee schemes, health care and health insurance fraud. Find information on investment-related scams such as letter of credit fraud, prime bank note fraud, and market manipulation fraud.


Finding an Attorney for Fraud in Palm Beach County, FL

If you are under investigation for any type of fraud offense in West Palm Beach or Delray Beach in Palm Beach County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at McLaughlin Morris, P.A. to discuss your case. We represent clients on a variety of economic crimes including fraud, money laundering, and white collar crimes throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami-Dade County, FL. 

With offices in Delray Beach in Palm Beach County and Miami in Miami-Dade County, the criminal defense attorneys at McLaughlin Morris, P.A. are here to provide you with a free and confidential consultation. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your case. We can begin your defense today.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

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