When you consider the totality of crime, it may seem confusing to match the level of crime to the punishment. Indeed, when watching the news, we often see punishments that rarely fit the alleged crime. And, this may lead those charged with Medicare fraud to wonder where their potential conviction could fall. With Medicare fraud convictions, since the alleged crimes are perceived as financial, is prison even possible with a Tennessee Medicare conviction?
A recent Medicare fraud case as an example
The answer is, unfortunately, yes. For example, the Department of Justice recently announced a married couple both entered guilty pleas to different charges relating to Medicare fraud.
Both were ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution and serve 48 months in federal prison, followed by years of supervised release. One charge of making false statements in a healthcare matter and one charge of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud led to their respective sentences.
Federal crimes and prison
Medicare fraud conviction can lead to prison. Medicare fraud is under the jurisdiction of federal prosecutors, so even if you practice medicine or operate a business in Tennessee you can be charged federally.
Wherever you live, practice medicine or operate a healthcare business, you fall under the jurisdiction of several law enforcement entities. Federal crime convictions, like Medicare fraud, can lead to prison sentences in federal correction facilities. And, this is regardless of how many lives you saved or the good work you have done in your community.
Our justice system operates under the principle of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. If you are under investigation, you may start fearing the possibility of prison, which is understandable as deprivation of your freedom is something no one wants to encounter.
However, charges do not always lead to convictions, and there are many possible defense strategies. Once you know that there are allegations of Medicare fraud, you need to start building your defense.