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New York Criminal Defense Blog

7 examples of potential Medicaid fraud

Navigating the world of Medicaid can be complex and confusing, but it's critical to understand how this impacts patient services and financial operations. In some cases, doctors get accused of fraud for actions they take that do not line up with the government's views on the Medicaid system.

If you're facing these types of allegations, it's incredibly serious. The ramifications could ruin your career and everything you've worked so hard for over the years. You could even wind up facing jail time, depending on the allegations. You may go to federal prison. Even after a short sentence, you could lose your license and find yourself unable to practice when you get out.

False allegations of embezzlement

There are many different types of white collar offenses that executives, employees and others find themselves accused of. However, charges related to embezzlement can be particularly concerning and may lead to very harsh consequences. Worse yet, some people are accused of embezzling money when they are completely innocent and these false accusations can completely shatter their life. If you are struggling with allegations of embezzlement even though the claims are baseless, you need to immediately protect your interests and look into your legal options.

Being accused of embezzling money can result in various consequences, including losing your job, spending time behind bars and facing harsh financial penalties. Furthermore, these allegations can be damaging to your reputation. In fact, even if you are found innocent it may be too late and your reputation may be damaged, making it hard for you to find work or pursue other opportunities in your life.

IRS investigation rates and results

People in New York may have a particularly unique view on cases involving alleged tax evasion or other offenses related to the payment or the non-payment of federal income taxes simply because of their location. With New York being the financial heart of the country, several high-profile cases end up taking place in this area. Many of these recent cases even involve people with ties to the current federal government administration.

However, the reality is that people in any type of business or in any location may be at risk for these types of charges as the Internal Revenue Service does conduct audits which often leads to investigations despite the agency saying the primary focus of such audits is simply to collect any tax that may be due. In the 2016 fiscal year, nearly 4,400 investigations were conducted by the IRS. These investigations led to nearly 2,700 convictions with an imprisonment rate of close to 80 percent. The average time a person was ordered to spend in custody was 41 months.

What is tax evasion?

Paying taxes is regarded as an unpleasant process by most people in New York City. However, paying taxes is mandated under the law and failure to comply with these laws can result in steep fines or even jail time. The Balance offers the following information on tax evasion and the consequences of not complying with the IRS.

While many people conflate the two terms, tax evasion is not the same as tax avoidance. In fact, tax avoidance is the completely legal act of lessening the amount of taxes you owe using legal methods. For instance, if you utilize deductions that help lower your overall tax burden, this is considered tax avoidance and is considered wholly legal.

Avoiding accusations of charity fraud

Like many in New York, you might assume accusations of fraud to be limited to organizations operating in the professional, for-profit word. Your charitable work for a non-profit organization could certainly not be subject to such suspicions, right? That is what many of those that we here at Sapone & Petrillo, LLP have worked with believed, yet a lack of knowledge or poor management ultimately led to them facing fraud charges. How, then, can you avoid such penalties with your charitable organization? 

Given that research data shared by CNBC shows that $335 billion was given to charitable organizations in the U.S. as recently as 2013, it is little surprise that such entities are often the subject of legal scrutiny. You might think charity fraud only applies to those cases where one solicits money for a charitable cause and then pockets any and all donations, yet in reality, a majority of charity fraud accusations come as the result of questionable money allocations. 

How to avoid trademark infringement

If you have a small business, you may have chosen a logo, name or slogan that represents your brand. Using your mark on your brand is essential, as you want to draw customers to your business. However, it is important to use the right methods in choosing a trademark to avoid implementing another companies brand or slogan. Trademark infringement occurs when you use a trademark that another company has already registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You may be charged with infringement if your mark even closely resembles another trademark or sounds like another business name.

Before you choose your trademark, you should look on the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office website to ensure the mark is not currently in use by another company. Although registered trademarks are listed on the website, there may be common-law trademarks that are not. Common-law trademarks are ones that company is entitled to use because it was the first to use or design the mark. Yet, trademarks are not required to be registered and so they may not appear on the website. You may still be penalized for using a common-law mark.

Can Facebook be used against you in court?

You always felt like social media was a good way to interact with your friends and keep people involved in your life. It was fun, it was simple and you enjoyed it. You never thought much about what you posted or what people thought of it.

That is, you never thought about it until you got accused of a crime. Suddenly, you started worrying about everything you'd ever written. Could people use it in court? What would come back to haunt you? Had you forgotten completely about a post that would make you look very guilty -- whether you were actually guilty or not?

Prominent prime minister lives lavishly after embezzling funds

When peoples' jobs require them to work with large amounts of money, they often have access to significant resources and power to move them around as designated by their superiors. However, improperly implemented protocols for monitoring functions, as well as a lack of transparency can be incredibly damaging to any New York firm if they have employees who are dishonest. Participation in financial crimes can wreak an extreme backlash of consequences that can ultimately destroy a firm's reputation and brand name in the most severe cases. 

In a recent example of people misusing their power, a couple of bankers with Goldman Sachs have been indicted on charges of embezzling money that allowed Malaysia's Prime Minister to live a lavish lifestyle. Among his ludicrous purchases was a Picasso painting. A sovereign wealth fund was created and managed by the Prime Minister, but he relied on the help of the bankers to embezzle the funds that he used to support his lifestyle. 

Alleged bomb mailer arrested

Residents in New York and across the United States were aware that for a series of days, officials were reported to have intercepted multiple packages mailed to prominent persons. The contents of these packages were potential bombs and the intended recipients were all democratic politicians or well-known supporters of democratic politicians and the democratic party.

As reported by CNN, there were a total of 13 packages that are said to have been mailed with the intent of harming or killing the people to whom they were addressed. The official complaint refers to the contents of each package as an improvised explosive device. Of the 13 packages, two are said to have contained evidence that directed law enforcement officers to the person who they have since placed under arrest in conjunction with these devices and mailings.

With no money lost New York fraud case may be difficult to prove

The New York court system is no stranger to fraud cases, but a recent case involving bank loans to two media companies may prove difficult to prosecute because the banks who lent the money suffered no financial loss.

Defendants in the case include executives who allegedly funneled loan money into company accounts in order to pay off other loans and maintain a particular publication's credit profile. In order to obtain the loans, the executives allegedly provided the banks with false information and did not use the money to purchase high-end computer servers, the purpose expressed in the loan applications. 

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