Using forfeiture laws, federal investigators took her bank accounts as well as a GMC Yukon purchased with the victim's money, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in apparel. They also seized an American Express card issued in the victim's name.
This case involves allegations that a Dallas-based medical clinic committed health care fraud by submitting more than $1 million in false claims to Medicare for services it never provided. In addition, the owners of the clinic is accused of filing false tax returns to conceal their income from the clinic. When Medicare discovered the fraud, it withheld payment from the clinic and sent notice to its customers that additional charges might be coming. The government alleges that the defendants used most of the fraudulent proceeds to purchase luxury goods such as a $240,000 diamond ring for their wife, cash advances of more than $300,000, and rent apartments in Greenwich, Connecticut and Henderson, Nevada.
In total, the defendants are accused of stealing more than $3.5 million from the Medicare program and falsely reporting less than $1 million in annual revenue on its tax return.
The defendants face fines of up to $250,000 and possible years in prison if they are found guilty of all charges.
Health care fraud destroys lives one mistake at a time.
Anyone found passing phony money, even if they did not create it, will be punished with violating counterfeiting statutes. This is due to the fact that the federal government is legally responsible for distributing legal money. Counterfeiters face up to 20 years in jail or a $250,000 fine.
In addition, anyone who possesses counterfeit bills faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Judges can also order defendants to pay for the cost of investigating and prosecuting them. Finally, people who help others pass counterfeit bills could be sentenced to one year in jail or fined $10,000.
How do you prove that someone passed counterfeit money? There are two ways: physical evidence such as print marks on currency or packaging materials containing counterfeit bills, and testimonial evidence from witnesses who have seen the defendant pass counterfeit money.
Physical evidence can be used to identify people who have been in contact with counterfeit money. For example, if someone were to receive some counterfeit bills and then give out many more bills during a shopping trip or while working at a job, police might be able to use this information to connect them to the crime. The more time that passes between when a person was last seen with counterfeit money and when they are arrested, the less likely it is that they will be found guilty because there will be fewer signs of wear and tear on the bills.
Every year, the United States seizes billions of dollars in counterfeit products, with phony designer handbags accounting for a sizable chunk of the total. An estimated $8 billion is spent annually on counterfeit goods, with new estimates putting the cost even higher.
In fact, fake bags are so popular that they have their own category at the annual Paris Fashion Week: "prêt-à-porter/replica."
And the damage these fakes do to the industry they copy isn't limited to just losing sales and reputation; it can also be life threatening for those working in the fashion industry. In 2004, a young woman was killed by an exploding replica handbag. The incident brought attention to the danger of these products who can't be identified as coming from a specific brand website or store.
Since then, many countries have passed laws prohibiting some types of replica products because of this danger. But there are still ways to identify real from fake, which will be discussed later in this article.
Companies that make genuine bags may not want to acknowledge the fact that they are being copied, so they often opt not to challenge the fakers.