Several times every month, a mother comes into my office with the same problem. The NYC Bureau of Fraud Investigation claims that she committed Medicaid fraud because she did not report income earned by the father of her children.
Many of the women are telling the truth. They really are separated from the father of their children. They may or may not be getting any financial support. They desperately need Medicaid.
Some of the women are not telling the truth. They claim to be separated, but they are not.
Both groups of women can avoid serious consequences if they follow one simple rule: Never lie to the Medicaid fraud investigators.
You do not have to incriminate yourself. You have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to be represented by a lawyer. And if you handle the investigation properly, you can usually avoid serious consequences.
But if you lie to the investigators, they will show no mercy.
The medicaid fraud investigators already know where everyone lives, works, and gets their mail. They have obtained copies of each parent's driver's license, car registration, and pay stubs showing the addresses they use for their cars and paychecks. The investigators may have addresses from your credit reports, bank statements or credit card statements. They have sat outside your home watching, talking to neighbors, and taking pictures.
In one recent case, a woman went to see the investigator on her own. She told the investigator that her husband lived alone in Pennsylvania, and that she lived in Brooklyn with the children.
The investigator, however, had the husband's cell phone and EZ-Pass records, which showed that his cell phone and car never left the five boros of New York City.
By the time the woman came to see me, she and her husband had been arrested, fingerprinted, and charged with serious felonies. They ended up pleading guilty to misdemeanors, paying a fine, but thankfully avoiding prison.
In another recent case, a couple admitted to me that they falsely stated that they were separated on their Medicaid application and recertifications. I went to see the investigator, alone, and negotiated a settlement before any criminal charges were filed. My clients never had to face questioning by the investigators. I even negotiated a payment plan, so they could pay back benefits over time with no penalties and no interest.
The lesson is simple. Do not lie to Medicaid fraud investigators. In fact, do not talk to investigators alone. Get an experienced Medicaid fraud defense attorney on your side.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Medicaid fraud lawyer, call The Howley Law Firm today at (212) 601-2728.
Medicaid fraud cases are often won (or lost) at the investigation stage, Before you talk to investigators, educate yourself by downloading a free copy of our special report.