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DC Federal Healthcare Fraud Penalties

When a person faces healthcare fraud charges, they should expect to be aggressively prosecuted. Law enforcement agencies, other government agencies, and prosecutors take these charges quite seriously.

The charges may involve allegations of millions of dollars’ worth of fraud and sometimes involve allegations that patients went without care because treatments were falsified. A capable federal fraud lawyer could attempt to mitigate the DC federal healthcare fraud penalties a person may face.

Why is Healthcare Prosecuted So Severely?

Patients living below the poverty line who get Medicare or Medicaid payments might be induced to participate in the fraud. They receive a small amount of money and receive no treatment in exchange for their claim that they received treatment. The charges are taken seriously because they go to the core of government-sponsored healthcare. As a result, DC federal healthcare fraud penalties are often severe in order to address

Healthcare Fraud Arrest Process

When a person is charged by complaint, an arrest warrant is issued for that person. If the person is working with an attorney, an arrangement might be made for the person to turn themselves in at the courthouse where the charge is filed, or to the FBI or other law enforcement agency involved in the investigation.

The person is brought into court and booked. Their fingerprints are taken, their picture is taken, and the person is brought before a magistrate judge in federal court. If the judge deems the person is not likely to flee and is likely to come back to court, they are released with conditions such as monitoring or a restriction on travel beyond a six-mile radius of the courthouse from where the charge is filed.

Indictments for Federal Healthcare Fraud

At that point, if the investigation on the defense side is not in progress, it begins when the person retains a lawyer. Hopefully, the person retained a lawyer when they first became aware of the investigation. From there, an indictment or a formal charge may be issued by a grand jury. If an indictment is issued, an arraignment is held and the person is formally charged of the indictment. A schedule is set for documents and motions to be filed, and for discovery to be provided. If the case goes to trial, a trial date is set.

Length of a Person’s Sentence

The length of a person’s sentence depends on how the factors play out. A person who had a lesser role tends to get a lesser sentence, anywhere from less than one year in jail and probation. Someone who has a larger role in the fraud where a larger amount of money is involved could fact harsher DC federal healthcare fraud penalties like being sentenced to seven, eight, or ten years in prison.

Long-term Implications of Healthcare Fraud Convictions

Any conviction can have huge collateral consequences, along with the DC federal healthcare fraud penalties that a person may face. A healthcare fraud conviction carries the potential for longer sentences. There could be a large forfeiture requirement where the person is required to pay back what was lost because of the fraud with money or other assets such as houses, cars, stocks, et cetera.

The person might be forced to pay heavy fines and may be given long periods of supervised release which is supervision by a probation officer. Should there be a violation of release, the person could be sent back to prison. As far as collateral consequences, there may be restrictions on receiving certain federal benefits, gun ownership, and voting rights.

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