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The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman
White Collar Criminal Defense 310-598-2000

Understanding Healthcare Fraud Charges in California: What You Need to Know

Brown Gavel With Medical Stethoscope Near Book At Wooden Desk In Courtroom

Healthcare fraud is a serious criminal offense that can lead to significant legal consequences for those convicted in California. As a form of white-collar crime, healthcare fraud involves the intentional deception or misrepresentation in healthcare billing to gain an undeserved profit. This blog post aims to provide an overview of healthcare fraud charges in California, the legal implications, and the importance of seeking experienced legal representation to avoid the harshest penalties at stake or sidestep a conviction altogether. If you have been charged with healthcare fraud in California, contact The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman in Los Angeles for help from a highly experienced and successful California criminal defense attorney.

What Constitutes Healthcare Fraud in California?

Healthcare fraud in California encompasses a wide range of activities, including:

  • Billing for Services Not Rendered: Submitting claims for medical services or treatments that were never provided.
  • Upcoding: Charging for a more expensive service than the one actually performed.
  • Unbundling: Separating a bundled procedure into individual components to increase billing.
  • Kickbacks: Receiving or offering financial incentives for patient referrals or for prescribing specific medications or treatments.
  • Identity Theft: Using someone else’s personal information to obtain medical services or to bill for services fraudulently.

Legal Penalties for Healthcare Fraud

The penalties for healthcare fraud in California can be severe, depending on the extent of the fraud and the amount of money involved. Convicted individuals may face:

  • Fines: Substantial financial penalties, often exceeding the amount of the fraudulent claims.
  • Restitution: Repayment to the defrauded parties, such as insurance companies or government healthcare programs.
  • Imprisonment: Sentences can range from a few years to over a decade in federal or state prison, depending on the severity of the offense.
  • Probation: Supervised release with specific conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer and participation in anti-fraud programs.
  • Loss of Professional Licenses: Healthcare providers may lose their licenses to practice, effectively ending their careers.

Defending Against Healthcare Fraud Charges

If you are facing healthcare fraud charges in California, it is crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in white-collar crimes. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and develop a strong defense strategy. Some potential defenses against healthcare fraud charges include:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that any billing errors were unintentional or the result of clerical mistakes.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence as insufficient to prove that fraud occurred.
  • Entrapment: Arguing that law enforcement officials induced the fraudulent behavior.
  • Good Faith: Asserting that the actions were taken in good faith, based on a reasonable interpretation of ambiguous billing rules.

Contact The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman for Healthcare Fraud Defense in California

Healthcare fraud charges in California carry serious consequences and can have a lasting impact on your professional and personal life. If you are facing such charges, it is essential to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide a robust defense and protect your rights. Attorney Stanley L. Friedman is a former federal prosecutor of white-collar healthcare and financial fraud as well as a California Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist. At The Law Offices of Stanley L. Friedman, we are committed to defending individuals accused of healthcare fraud and other white-collar crimes, ensuring that their side of the story is heard and their rights are upheld throughout the legal process. Call 310-598-2000 to discuss your situation and find out how we can help.

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