A 33-year-old St. Paul man was charged on Monday with one count of insurance fraud. Even though it is just one white collar crime-related count, if he is found guilty he could end up spending up to 20 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint against the St. Paul man, he was in an accident in June 2011. At the time, he was on his motorcycle and was stopped at a red light in Lakeville, Minnesota, when his bike was hit from behind by a pickup truck. The driver of the pickup truck claimed her foot slipped off the brake. However, there was supposedly no damage to the motorcycle or the pickup truck and police were not called to the scene.
Days after the accident though, the St. Paul man contacted the pickup truck driver’s insurance company, Geico, and said the accident may have aggravated an old back injury. For the insurance company, one can assume this type of complaint is not at all uncommon as the jarring motion of a crash really can aggravate old injuries.
According to the criminal complaint, the St. Paul man reported receiving 199 treatments related to his injuries between July 2011 and July 2012. When asked where he was being medically treated for these injuries, the St. Paul man said the facility was called U4A-FIT. However, he could not remember the address of the Twin Cities facility.
With this, according to the complaint, he also sent 28 handwritten progress reports related to his alleged injury to Geico. These handwritten reports were supposedly coming from U4A-FIT.
However, according to the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Fraud Bureau, there is no U4A-FIT. Rather, the St. Paul man is accused of creating this fictitious company and using a fictitious name in order to collect insurance money from Geico.
The man is now being charged with one count of insurance fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
At this point though, it is important to point out that the man has only been charged with a white collar crime and is yet to be found guilty.
Cases such as this one are a perfect example of when to talk with an attorney. Whether the charges have already been filed, or there is reason to believe charges will be filed, an attorney with experience handling and defending against these types of charges can make sure the suspect’s rights are protected while providing legal advice and possible options.
Source: Pioneer Press, “St. Paul man charged in car insurance fraud scheme,” John Welbes, Sept. 30, 2013