If you have been arrested in the Orlando area for a violation of 414.39 for fraud relating to public services such as Medicaid or food stamps, the attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel are available to assist you in your defense.
The Florida statute states that:
(1)Any person who knowingly:
(a)Fails, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose a material fact used in making a determination as to such person’s qualification to receive public assistance under any state or federally funded assistance program;
(b)Fails to disclose a change in circumstances in order to obtain or continue to receive any such public assistance to which he or she is not entitled or in an amount larger than that to which he or she is entitled; or
(c)Aids and abets another person in the commission of any such act,
(2)Any person who knowingly:
(a)Uses, transfers, acquires, traffics, alters, forges, or possesses, or
(b)Attempts to use, transfer, acquire, traffic, alter, forge, or possess, or
(c)Aids and abets another person in the use, transfer, acquisition, traffic, alteration, forgery, or possession of, a food assistance identification card, an authorization, including, but not limited to, an electronic authorization, for the expenditure of food assistance benefits, a certificate of eligibility for medical services, or a Medicaid identification card in any manner
(3)Any person having duties in the administration of a state or federally funded public assistance program or in the distribution of public assistance, or authorizations or identifications to obtain public assistance, under a state or federally funded public assistance program and who:
(a)Fraudulently misappropriates, attempts to misappropriate, or aids and abets in the misappropriation of, food assistance, an authorization for food assistance, a food assistance identification card, a certificate of eligibility for prescribed medicine, a Medicaid identification card, or public assistance from any other state or federally funded program with which he or she has been entrusted or of which he or she has gained possession by virtue of his or her position, or who knowingly fails to disclose any such fraudulent activity; or
(b)Knowingly misappropriates, attempts to misappropriate, or aids or abets in the misappropriation of, funds given in exchange for food assistance program benefits or for any form of food assistance benefits authorization,
(4)Any person who:
(a)Knowingly files, attempts to file, or aids and abets in the filing of, a claim for services to a recipient of public assistance under any state or federally funded public assistance program for services that were not rendered; knowingly files a false claim or a claim for nonauthorized items or services under such a program; or knowingly bills the recipient of public assistance under such a program, or his or her family, for an amount in excess of that provided for by law or regulation;
(b)Knowingly fails to credit the state or its agent for payments received from social security, insurance, or other sources; or
(c)In any way knowingly receives, attempts to receive, or aids and abets in the receipt of, unauthorized payment or other unauthorized public assistance or authorization or identification to obtain public assistance as provided herein,
is guilty of a crime and shall be punished!!
The statute further provides that the punishments shall be as follows:
- If the value of the public assistance is less than $200 in any 12 consecutive months, such person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a fine of $1000.
- If the value of the public assistance more that $200 in any 12 consecutive months, such person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in a Florida prison and a $5000 fine.
Basically what this means is that if you do anything that the State considers fraudulent in connection with your food stamp or Medicaid card, you could go to jail for wither one year or five years, depending on the amount of money the State thinks you owe them. In addition to the conviction, you could be barred from receiving future services. Many times people arrested under this statute have not done anything they feel to be illegal, it is a simple misunderstanding. This is especially true when two parents who do not live together, claim the same child in order to receive benefits.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for this crime the attorneys of Finebloom & Haenel can assist you. Our caring staff can provide you with guidance and legal support during this trying time. Call us now at 407-218-6277 to discuss your options today!