Fraud Bill Passes Ind. House

February 16, 2005

The Indiana House passed HR 1403, a fraud bill that would increase jail terms for larger insurance scams, by 95 to one and will move to the Senate for debate.

According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, “Beefing up Indiana’s weak insurance-fraud law will allow the state to begin seriously combating one of its most-neglected crimes.”

Conviction would impose up to eight years in jail for larger scams. The current law allows only one year, no matter how large and damaging a scheme. Fines would also increase significantly, and premium fraud would become a specific crime.

According to Howard Goldblatt, director of government affairs, CAIF, “Stiffer penalties will give prosecutors far more incentive to try these often-complex crimes.” Goldblatt said, “Prosecutors often turn down insurance-fraud cases in Indiana because the weak penalties aren’t worth the large effort required to get a conviction.”

“Stronger penalties also will deter many would-be scam artists who aren’t intimidated by Indiana’s soft fraud law,” he added.

“Prosecutors greatly increase their chances of earning a conviction for premium scams with a law that’s enlarged to specifically to include this crime,” Goldblatt said. “Passing a fraud law with real teeth will be a decisive first step toward seriously combating a long-ignored crime in Indiana”

The bill has broad support in the state, and was initiated by the Indiana chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units.

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