Can the Government Seize Assets in a Healthcare Fraud Case?

Illinois healthcare fraud attorney, IL defense lawyer,The federal government has investigated cases of healthcare fraud since the inception of programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Historically though, they tended to focus on larger fraud schemes, typically occurring within huge corporations. Of course, the government is still focused on these investigations, but there has been a shift in recent years. The number of investigations into smaller community-based healthcare businesses has been increasing. Allegations range from billing errors to unlawful referral fees and more.

The consequences of these investigations are devastating for the owners of these businesses just trying to help their community and make an honest living. In some cases, their assets are even seized, which is often enough to prevent them from conducting business, or even paying their personal expenses.

Asset Forfeitures Under the United States Code

According to 28 U.S.C. Section 1355, the federal government can seize assets during an investigation. This tool is not available to them in every investigation they conduct. However, cases involving doctors, pharmacists, company owners, and board members are often targeted for asset seizure.

Under 18 U.S.C. Section 981, investigators can seize assets as part of a civil proceeding, including fraud against the federal government. Under 18 U.S.C Section 982, investigators can also seize assets during a criminal investigation such as one pertaining to money laundering and mail or wire fraud.

The type of assets federal investigators can seize include:

  • Retirement accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Bank accounts
  • Cash
  • Personal assets, such as cars and boats
  • Company assets
  • Property

It does not matter if these assets are located within the United States or abroad. The federal government can still seize them.

Defenses to Asset Forfeiture

When federal investigators start seizing assets and accusing you of wrongdoing, it is very confusing. It often seems hopeless. However, it is not.

The best defense to asset forfeiture, and the accusations against you, is to prove you did not do it. A federal criminal defense attorney can help you collect evidence that can validate your claims that you did not commit a crime. You should not try to prove this defense on your own.

Too many times, those under investigation provide their side of the story, thinking they are helping their case. They may tell investigators that they did not intentionally over-bill Medicare, or that they did not know the equipment they billed was unnecessary. These defenses will not help you. In a healthcare fraud case, it does not matter if the act was intentional or not.

A federal criminal defense lawyer can represent you, collect evidence, and provide a solid defense that will not incriminate you.

Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with healthcare fraud, or you are under investigation, it is important you take action quickly and speak to a skilled Chicago federal criminal defense attorney. The federal government pursues these cases aggressively and will do everything to weaken your position during an investigation, including seizing your assets. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we will work tirelessly to prevent that from happening. We know that small business owners are just trying to make an honest living and that many today are being unfairly investigated. If you need help, call us today at 312-270-0999 for your free consultation. We will review your case, explore your legal options with you, and give your case the best chance of success.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/1355

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/981

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