One day, you might become the focus of a U.S. attorney's attention, and this could be for various reasons, all related to criminal activity. You could find yourself suspected or accused of a crime, served with a subpoena, facing a lawsuit by the state or even a victim of a crime. Specifically, the criminal activity in question might pertain to elder abuse or fraudulent practices involving Medicaid or Medicare. In this article, we will explore these situations, providing insights into their implications and guiding you on what steps to take if a U.S. attorney shows up at your doorstep.
Suspected Crimes That Would Constitute a Visit
A U.S. attorney, accompanied by law enforcement officers or investigators, may visit to gather crucial information and evidence concerning health care fraud and elder abuse. For instance, as a medical practitioner, if you have been submitting claims to insurance companies, Medicaid, or Medicare for medical services and treatments that were never provided, this practice becomes a compelling reason for their visit. Such actions not only constitute health care fraud but also fall under the realm of elder abuse if the exploited patients, due to cognitive decline or physical impairment, are subjected to financial exploitation. Such an act is not only egregious for obvious reasons, but it also depletes their financial resources, compromises their access to legitimate medical services and treatments, and evidently leads to emotional distress.
Similarly, using billing codes that inflate the cost of services or improperly billing for treatments that should have been billed together can result in financial losses not only for the victims but also for federal programs like Medicaid. Worse than financial loss, health care fraud can also put the lives of patients at grave risk. Falsifying medical records or providing patients with false diagnoses to justify unnecessary medical services can lead to delays in receiving appropriate treatment, putting patients at risk of worsened conditions and increased mortality rates.
Health care fraud and elder abuse can manifest in numerous ways, making it crucial to remain vigilant against such fraudulent practices. It is essential to understand that the unauthorized exploitation of Medicaid and Medicare benefits could prompt a visit from a U.S. attorney, regardless of whether permission was granted by the patient. The severity of the crime remains unchanged, and engaging in fraudulent activities, even with consent, can have legal consequences.
Knowing Your Rights
A U.S. attorney may also wish to speak with you because they believe you were a witness to a crime, and aim to collect all the evidence possible in order to prosecute. But, in the U.S., including New York, you are not required to speak to an investigating attorney if they come to your home. You have rights and must be aware of them. If you are not in court, the investigating attorney cannot require you to answer any questions or even speak with them. You may speak with them if you wish, but you also have the right to end any conversation at any time as you wish. You also do not need to provide a reason for ending the conversation. If you choose to answer any questions you can do so while refusing to answer others that were asked.
There may be instances where messages or voicemails are left by an attorney, but you are under no obligation to respond to them. If you are under investigation or involved in an investigation for a crime, it is of the utmost importance that you contact and consult a lawyer to protect your rights and privacy. Whether you have been accused of a crime or a witness to one, you have rights and are entitled to them. A right to legal counsel is one of them.
If approached by a U.S. attorney at your doorstep, you have the right to remain silent and request legal counsel. Consulting with an attorney can protect your rights and privacy during the legal process, ensuring that you make informed decisions and receive proper representation. Throughout her 20-year career, Inna Fershteyn has not only dedicated herself to assisting her clients but also to educating them along the way. If you find yourself faced with a visit from an attorney that left you uncertain, Inna is here to provide clarity and guidance. To ensure you receive the proper representation and support, do not hesitate to contact the Medicaid Fraud Attorney at (718) 333–1233.