On numerous occasions we have gotten this phone call from a panicked client: “Car loads of federal agents showed up with a search warrant for all of my business records. What do I do?”
Another frequent call is, “I just got a call from the FBI. A special agent wants me to come to his office for an interview.”
And, “there is a state or federal special investigator in my reception area wanting to question me. Help!”
There are many state and federal agencies that are tasked with investigating and enforcing white collar crime laws, including the FBI, the US Secret Service, the US Customs Office, the Office of Inspector General, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the EPA. Texas agencies include the Office of the Attorney General and the local District Attorney’s office Economic Crimes/Major Fraud division.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t make a federal case out of it.” That is universally understood to mean that a “federal case” is something really big and really serious.
That is because multiple Federal and local agencies cooperate to build layer upon layer of evidence to prosecute white collar crimes. These agencies investigate aggressively due to unlimited resources and the blank check written by our government. Many times, complex cases are constructed against defendants before they even know that they are under investigation.
A prosecutor, whether a Federal assistant United States attorney or state assistant district attorney, is required to provide enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the charges you’ve been indicted for are enough for a conviction. The majority of white collar crimes are document intensive and require a litany of experts to sift through and interpret. Their expert input allows us to determine what has happened, how the prosecution can prove it through the records, and whether or not the prosecution and their experts know what they’re talking about.
Because of the document intensive nature of white collar crimes, which often involve voluminous financial data, it is essential that you have an experienced and qualified defense team that knows where to look, and what to look for, when preparing your defense.
A comprehensive team approach using resources such computer experts, financial consultants, and forensic accountants helps us determine both the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case, helping you obtain the best possible result.
At Schiffer Law Firm, we are seasoned Houston White Collar Crime attorneys. We have over 40 years of combined white collar crime defense experience, and are prepared to aggressively defend you at that frightening moment when you become aware that you are the target of a Federal or state investigation.
Experience and knowledge are the most effective weapons in the courtroom to have your case dismissed, charges reduced, or successfully tried to a jury. With experience, not only as defense attorneys, but with both the Harris County District Attorney’s office and the United States Attorney’s office, we know how the system works and will fight aggressively to get the best results for you.
Medicare Fraud, also sometimes referred to as Healthcare Fraud, is the submission of requests for government healthcare reimbursement under false pretenses. There are various ways that medicare fraud can be committed, but the common goal is to collect money illegitimately from the government, and it is a preferred target because medicare relies on the “honor system” of billing. Nevertheless, Federal prosecutors and investigators pursue illegitimate claims tirelessly.
Constantly keeping up to date with recent case law, trends, and regulations, Schiffer Law Firm has represented a wide variety of Texas professionals from cities including Houston, Sugarland, The Woodlands, and Katy, who have been caught up in the wide net thrown by an oftentimes overeager task force comprised of Texas and Federal agencies against owners of doctors, pharmacists, home healthcare businesses, private ambulance services, and durable medical device providers, among others.
We have over 40 years of combined experience in dealing with medicare fraud defense, and we have successfully defended against many medicare fraud charges.
Our clients include well-established doctors, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, therapists, managers, ambulance companies, and home health care operators and employees.
Various accusations in medicare fraud cases may include:
In many of these cases, the provider pays a kickback to a medicare beneficiary for his or her medicare number, and the provider bills medicare for fraudulent goods or services, with the patient “complicit by his agreement.”
Upcoding and unbundling are very common types of healthcare fraud.
Schiffer Law Firm has also defended these currently favorite targets of the Medicare and Medicaid Fraud task forces:
In our over 40 years of experience in both prosecution and defense, we have learned that the more our attorneys prepare, the greater their success. We do not believe that we have ever been out-prepared by another lawyer in the courtroom. As they say, the devil is in the details, and it is exhaustive investigation in these document intensive cases that makes the difference. We have the experience of knowing what to look for and how to leverage it to get the best results.
If you are a licensed professional who has been charged with Medicaid or Medicare fraud, or are under investigation for fraud, contact us right away.
Federal or state prosecutors have potentially been building a case against you and your business for months. It is in your greatest interest to get an early start on your defense strategy to defend yourself, and protect your rights, against illegal evidence and other unconstitutional tactics that the prosecutors might engage in.
If you are under investigation for a white collar crime, you are almost certainly facing a serious felony offense.
The main difference deals with punishment, and how someone who is convicted is punished.
A state conviction will be punished either by a jury verdict or a judge, depending on the election of the defendant, and the fact finder will have a broad range of punishment to decree (e.g., a 1st degree felony carries possible 5-99 years, or life).
A vast majority of white collar crimes are prosecuted by the Federal government because they generally involve interstate commerce. Federal courts have unique rules and procedures when it comes to punishment, as opposed to state court. In Federal court, the jury may find guilt or innocence, however, the judge, upon a finding from the jury of guilt, is given full authority to decide punishment. The judge must adhere to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which gives him or her a range of punishment based on the charge and other underlying facts.
The short answer is “it’s possible,” however, it is negligible compared to state prison. State prison will sometimes allow parole after 1/3 of the time is served.