Many people lie in order to gain something. In certain situations, it is important to determine if the gain is worth more than what you could potentially lose. More American citizens are taking advantage of government health care programs like Medicaid every single day and since most people do not get caught in the act at first, others looking to bilk the program of hard earned tax dollars are encouraged to commit fraud.
Lying to Medicaid Is a Serious Crime
Some people lie intentionally while many others have no intention to lie and simply make a mistake. There is a significant difference between purposely falsifying information in order to receive Medicaid and food stamps, and accidentally not reporting when circumstances change, Regardless, it is wrongful and against the law to present untruths on a Medicaid application, and every applicant should present their information accurately. Though the potential consequences of fraud are often overlooked, it is crucial that any person even considering the notion understands that falsehoods on a Medicaid application are a felony, and the person may face very serious consequences including massive fines and even jail time.
What Happens If You Are Caught Lying on Your Application?
When you are caught lying to Medicaid, you will receive a letter in the mail from the Human Resources Administration (HRA) asking you to come to a specific location for an “interview,” along with your tax returns and other financial or personal records related to your Medicaid eligibility, or lack thereof. It is imperative to respond to this letter immediately; if you choose to wait it out and ignore the letter, your case will be sent to the District Attorney and your investigation will likely become a criminal investigation. While the term “interview” may seem fairly innocuous, in reality, the investigation has already been going on and at this point, investigators are trying to find additional evidence to finalize the case against you. What many people unfortunately don’t know is that you absolutely have the right to consult with and bring a licensed Medicaid fraud attorney with you to the interview, and it is highly recommended that you do so. Handling the case yourself, unless you are knowledgeable of Medicaid and the laws surrounding the program, will most likely result in you being found guilty.
If you decide to bring an attorney to represent you, the chances of you being vindicated or negotiating a settlement are infinitely higher. However, if you decide to handle the interview yourself and end up being found guilty, bring the letter a qualified Medicaid fraud lawyer, go over your situation with them, identify any issues, and develop a strategy in order to avoid severe criminal charges. Consequences for lying on a Medicaid application can be as serious as facing hefty fines to repay the money spent on health care services or face criminal prosecution and spend up to five years in prison. Most often, experienced Medicaid fraud attorneys may negotiate a financial settlement that is usually less than the money received as benefits, and will ultimately avoid criminal charges on your behalf. However, before you consider lying about your information on a Medicaid application, ask yourself if it is a risk truly worth taking.