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How the Affordable Care Act is cracking down on Medicare fraud

When it comes to white collar crimes, or crimes that are made by businesses or business people usually related to money as motivation, nothing is more prominent than fraud. Fraud is committed by misrepresenting some type of financial aspect in order to profit from the misrepresentation. The Affordable Care Act has the entire medical community turned upside-down now that the health care industry has more government influence. The federal government is now turning its attention to fraud in the health care industry.

The federal government has reported roughly $10.7 billion in healthcare fraud recoveries in the last three years. This means the federal government says it has recovered a significant amount of money for crimes related to health care fraud. Federal sentences for Medicare fraud have increased by 20 percent to 50 percent if the amount of loss was over $1 million. This is why it is more important than ever for those accused of Medicare fraud to address their situation appropriately.

If charged with Medicare fraud, do not take these charges lightly. Just because this is considered a non-violent crime doesn't mean that it cannot have serious consequences. Consequences could range from probation to jail time to fines. Since the federal government has upped their spending budget to $350 million over the next 10 years to investigate and prosecute these type of crimes, the defenses to these type of accusations should be well thought out.

Understand that a criminal defense is better than no defense at all; however it does not guarantee an acquittal. Medicare fraud constitutes a charge prosecuted on the federal level, not the state. So this changes the tone of the charges immediately. Consider all options that may weigh in your favor if accused of a federal crime such as fraud.

Source: StopMedicareFraud.gov, "The Affordable Care Act and fighting fraud," accessed March 15, 2015

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