Staging accidents offenses include schemes to defraud insurance companies by making false statements to acquire insurance proceeds in coordination with a fake or intentional accident. Both federal and Florida law include heavy fines and severe criminal penalties, including potential mandatory/minimum sentences of up to 25 years and maximum potential sentences of up to LIFE. Mr. Petruzzi has represented numerous individuals charged with, or under investigation for, staging accidents offenses by both federal and state authorities. His experience and knowledge serve as an invaluable asset to his clients.
Federal staging accident offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various agencies, including the FBI, IRS and the Department of Justice. Some common federal statutes criminalizing staging accidents include:
18 USC Sec. 1341 –
Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
Florida staging accidents offenses are investigated and prosecuted by various state and local law enforcement agencies. Some common Florida statutes criminalizing staging accidents include:
817.234 False and fraudulent insurance claims.—
(1) (a) A person commits insurance fraud punishable as provided in subsection (11) if that person, with the intent to injure, defraud, or deceive any insurer:
1. Presents or causes to be presented any written or oral statement as part of, or in support of, a claim for payment or another benefit pursuant to an insurance policy or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract, knowing that such statement contains any false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning any fact or thing material to such claim;
2. Prepares or makes any written or oral statement that is intended to be presented to any insurer in connection with, or in support of, any claim for payment or another benefit pursuant to an insurance policy or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract, knowing that such statement contains any false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning any fact or thing material to such claim; or
3. a. Knowingly presents, causes to be presented, or prepares or makes with knowledge or belief that it will be presented to any insurer, purported insurer, servicing corporation, insurance broker, or insurance agent, or any employee or agent thereof, any false, incomplete, or misleading information or written or oral statement as part of, or in support of, an application for the issuance of, or the rating of, any insurance policy, or a health maintenance organization subscriber or provider contract; or
b. Who knowingly conceals information concerning any fact material to such application.
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