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A letter from the NYC Bureau of Fraud Investigation means that you are a target in a Medicaid fraud investigation. How you respond to that letter can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major problem.
Here are the three biggest mistakes people make when they get a letter from the Bureau of Fraud Investigation:
Big Mistake #1: Ignoring the Letter or Failing to Respond
Many cases at the Bureau of Fraud Investigation can be resolved without going to court. In many cases -- even if the investigator believes that you were not entitled to benefits -- your lawyer can negotiate a settlement that avoids a lawsuit, avoids harming your credit score and, most importantly, avoids a criminal prosecution.
When you fail to respond to the letter, however, the investigator must decide whether to refer your case to the City's lawyers for a collection lawsuit or to the District Attorney for a criminal prosecution.
Once the investigator refers your case to the lawyers, you end up in court. That means there is a public record accusing you of fraud. That record may show up on your credit report and background checks when you apply for employment. You may also have a judgment entered against you, which can result in liens on your property and garnishment of your wages. And if your case is referred for criminal prosecution, you could end up with a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
Do not ignore a letter from the Bureau of Fraud Investigation. Arrange a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Medicaid lawyer by calling John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728.
Big Mistake #2: Thinking You Can Outsmart the Investigator
The investigators are trained professionals with college degrees in criminal justice, accounting, and related fields. They already know where you live, who lives with you, where you work, and how much you earn. They may even have photographs of you, your home, your car, and the people who live with you.
When you show up for an "interview," they will place you in a small room with two investigators. One will question you while the other one will write down everything you say. If you say anything that is inconsistent with what they already know -- even if you make an honest mistake -- they will assume that you are trying to lie to them. That is when your case can change from a minor issue to a criminal prosecution.
You do not have to face the investigators alone. Your lawyer can often avoid the need for an "interview" by negotiating with the investigators directly. To find out how, schedule a free consultation with John Howley, Esq. by calling (212) 601-2728.
Big Mistake #3: Refusing to Get Professional Help
Medicaid and Family Health Plus are very complicated programs. There are hundreds of pages of rules and regulations. The Bureau of Fraud Investigation also has its own procedures that determine when and how they will settle a case, when they will refer it for a civil lawsuit, and when they will refer it for criminal prosecution.
It is easy to make a costly mistake if you do not know the rules. An experienced Medicaid lawyer can help you avoid making those mistakes. Getting an experienced Medicaid lawyer on your side is also the best way to minimize the risk of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Medicaid lawyer, call John Howley, Esq. at (212) 601-2728.