Although fraud may not be a violent crime, it can still have a devastating impact on victims. Fraud can affect individuals tricked by someone else’s lies. It can damage businesses and even affect government budgets.
Fraud is an issue in many different industries, and people do get sometimes accused of breaking the law when they have not done anything wrong. There are some professions that have a strong association with fraud crimes and therefore a higher-than-average risk of criminal prosecution.
What are some of the professions with a noteworthy connection to fraud?
Healthcare, especially medical billing
Health care fraud costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year. Despite what you may have heard on the news about people applying for benefits they don’t deserve, much of that health care fraud involves providers breaking the law with their insurance billing practices.
Examples of fraudulent billing practices include billing for services not rendered, altering the billing code for a more expensive treatment or procedure than the one provided, and intentionally unbundling or separating out charges typically paid together for a discount.
Banking and finance
Some of the best-known fraud cases involve financial professionals managing investment funds for others. Ponzi schemes involve a fund manager or professional investor using money gathered from new clients to pretend they have achieved unusually high returns on previous investments.
The Ponzi scheme is only one of many kinds of financial fraud that could leave to the prosecution of someone who works in banking or finance.
Real estate and mortgages
While technically mortgages are financial instruments, the law separates mortgage fraud from other kinds of financial fraud.
Mortgage fraud may include fraud for profit, such as when people complete a transaction for a property that doesn’t exist while pocketing the financing. Fraud for housing is an increasingly common issue and involves people lying about other circumstances to secure a mortgage on a home.
Sometimes, mortgage brokers and real estate professionals play a role in either of these kinds of mortgage fraud and could face prosecution.
Given that fraud charges are often federal offenses, it is incumbent upon professionals to identify potential sources of fraud in their industry and avoid accusations of fraudulent conduct. Learning about the laws allegedly violated and reviewing the evidence against you can help you plan a defense when accused of a complex fraud offense.