Procurement fraud is a type of white-collar crime that is typically associated with government contracts. Not many people think of the federal government as a consumer, but it actually is. The U.S. government purchases billions and billions of dollars worth of goods and services each year. If those purchases are fraudulent in any way, that is considered procurement fraud. Procurement fraud can occur in the private military contracting sector, the medical field or in just about any industry involved with government contracts. Listed below are just a few different types of procurement fraud.
Types of Procurement Fraud
- Price fixing
- Bid rigging
- Defective pricing
- Cost mischarging
- Misuse of federal grant money
- Spare parts overpricing
- Nonexistent vendors
- Excluding qualified bidders
- Inflating the cost of parts and labor
- Fraudulent invoices
- Collusion between bidders
- Product substitution
- Market division
- Cross charging
- Selling defective parts
Procurement fraud is a form of white-collar crime. These crimes are usually non-violent in nature and involve some type of theft, defrauding or other type of crime that is financial in nature. Procurement fraud as a white-collar crime can involve nonexistent vendors, kickbacks, product substitution, overbilling and a wide variety of fraudulent practices. Even though these crimes are non-violent, if convicted, it’s possible to get very harsh prison sentences. The federal government takes white-collar crimes like procurement fraud very seriously.
Government Military Contractors
Private military contractors fill a huge need for goods and services for various operations going on in the Middle East and throughout the world. From contracts for food and gear to support personnel and transportation, there are billions of dollars in procurement where private military contracts are involved. These contracts are also under an immense amount of scrutiny. If you’re facing charges of procurement fraud or any other type of white-collar crime associated with a private military contact, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney who has proven fraud case experience immediately. It can take months or longer to sort out the paperwork on these cases, so it’s essential to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you think you’re under investigation or swiftly after charges.
There is also a lot of procurement fraud in the medical field. Anywhere there is a high volume of government purchases, there is the potential for procurement fraud or for the suspicion of procurement fraud. Additional charges can include Medicare and Medicaid fraud and other white-collar crimes associated with defrauding the federal government. A common type of procurement fraud in the medical field is overbilling. Medical billing can be complicated, so there is often a great deal of scrutiny over coding and billing to ensure no fraudulent practices are going on. Kickbacks, collusion between bidders, fraudulent invoices and product substitution are also possible in the medical field.
Penalties Associated With Procurement Fraud
The federal government takes allegations and charges of procurement fraud very seriously. Although these are non-violent, seemingly victimless crimes, they actually hold quite stiff penalties. These are felony crimes, which means that you will spend more than one year in prison if convicted. In most cases, you can count on spending at least five or more years behind bars, depending upon the unique circumstances of your individual case. Penalties can also include very expensive fines. Finally, it’s also possible to lose professional licenses and your ability to make a living. A procurement fraud conviction can impact your livelihood for years to come, making it very difficult to get a job in your field or to get hired just about anywhere.
If you’re under investigation for procurement fraud or any type of white-collar crime, you need to get with a criminal defense attorney who has proven fraud defense case experience as soon as possible. These cases are time sensitive. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you will look guilty if you talk to a lawyer. Contacting a lawyer should be your top priority if you’ve been arrested or if you’re under investigation. It’s the single most effective way to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your particular case. A criminal defense lawyer can be your advocate and make sure your rights are being protected during a difficult and stressful time. If you have been arrested or if a loved one is facing procurement fraud charges in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and proven Criminal Defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation today.
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