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Washington Dc Fraud Attorney

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                                               A BILL                                              1

                                                16-208                                             2

                     IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA                                   3
                                                                                                  4
                                 _________________________                                        5
                                                                                                  6
To amend the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982 to provide new        7
      criminal offenses, to clarify when felony and misdemeanor penalties would apply, to reduce 8
      restrict the harassment solicitation of business from automobile accident victims, and for  9
      other purposes.                                                                            10


       BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this                        11

act may be cited as the "White Collar Insurance Fraud Prosecution Enhancement Amendment           12

Act of 20065".                                                                                    13

       Sec. 2. The District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982, effective      14

December 1, 1982 (D.C. Law 4-164; D.C. Official Code § 22-3201 et seq.), is amended as            15

follows:                                                                                          16

       (a) Section 125(a)(9) (D.C. Official Code § 22-3225.01(9)) is amended to read as           17

follows:“(9) “Practitioner” means an attorney, health care professional, owner of a health care   18

practice or facility or any person licensed to practice a profession or trade in the District,    19

whoseservices are compensated either in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by insurance    20

proceeds.”.                                                                                       21

       (ab) Section 125b (D.C. Official Code § 22-3225.02) is amended as follows:                 22

                 (1) The lead in language is amended to read as follows:                          23

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        "A person commits the offense of insurance fraud in the first degree if that person            1

knowingly engages in the following conduct with the intent to defraud or to fraudulently obtain        2

property of another and thereby obtains property of another or causes another to lose property         3

and the value of the property obtained or lost is $250 or more."                                       4

                (2) Paragraph (4)(c) is amended by striking the phrase “insurer.” and inserting the    5

phrase “insurer; or” in its place.                                                                     6

                (3) Paragraph (5) is amended by striking the phrase “insurance; or” and inserting the 7

phrase “insurance.” in its place.                                                                      8

                (24) Paragraph (6) is repealed. amended to read as follows:                            9

                "(6) Employing or using any other person or acting as the agent of any other          10

person to procure a client, patient, or customer for the purpose of falsely or fraudulently           11

obtaining benefits under a contract of insurance or asserting a false or fraudulent claim against     12

an insured or insurer.".                                                                              13

        (be) Section 125c (D.C. Official Code § 22-3225.03) is amended to read as follows:            14

        "Sec. 125c. Insurance fraud in the second degree.                                             15

        "A person commits the offense of insurance fraud in the second degree if that person          16

knowingly engages in conduct specified in section 125b with the intent to defraud or to               17

fraudulently obtain property of another and the value of the property which is sought to be           18

obtained is $250 or more.".                                                                           19

        (cd) A new section 125c-1 is added to read as follows:                                        20

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        "Sec. 125c-1. Misdemeanor insurance fraud.                                                         1

        "A person commits the offense of misdemeanor insurance fraud if that person knowingly              2

engages in conduct specified in section 125b with the intent to defraud or to fraudulently obtain          3

property of another.".                                                                                     4

        (c) Anew section 125c-2 is added to read as follows:                                               5

        “Sec. 125c-2. Prohibition of solicitation.                                                         6

        “(a)(1) It is unlawful for a Practitioner, whether directly or indirectly, to solicit or           7

procure a client, patient or customer within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident with the intent to        8

seek benefits under a contact of insurance or to assert a claim against an insured or an insurer on        9

behalf of any person arising out of the accident.                                                         10

                “(2) It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violating paragraph (1) of this 11

subsection that a practitioner solicited or procured a client, patient, or customer.                      12

                         “(A) Through the use of general advertising directed to the public;              13

                         “(B) Who first contacted the practitioner; or                                    14

                         “(C) With whom the practitioner has a preexisting business or                    15

personal relationship. “(b) It is unlawful for a person, for financial benefit, to solicit or procure a   16

client, patient, or customer within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident at the direction of, request      17

of, or in cooperation with a practitioner for the purpose of directing the client, patient, or            18

customer to a practitioner who is prohibited from solicitation or procurement under subsection            19

(a) of this section.                                                                                      20

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       “(c) A person convicted for violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a    1

misdemeanor and subject to the penalties for misdemeanor insurance fraud under section              2

125d(c).”.                                                                                          3

       (f) A new section 125c-3 is added to read as follows:                                        4

       “Sec. 125c-3. Restrictions on distributions of automobile accident reports.                  5

       “(a) It shall be unlawful for any person prohibited from soliciting or procuring clients,    6

patients, or customers pursuant to section 125c-2 to obtain or seek to obtain reports of motor      7

vehicle accidents filed with the Metropolitan Police Department within 21 days of the accident.     8

       (b) A person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a      9

misdemeanor and subject to the penalties for misdemeanor insurance fraud under section             10

125(d)(c).”.                                                                                       11

       (dg) Section 125(d) (D.C. Official Code § 22-3225.04) is amended to read as follows:        12

       “(a) Any person convicted of insurance fraud in the first degree shall be fined not more    13

than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both.                                    14

       "(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, any person convicted of     15

insurance fraud in the second degree shall be fined not more than $105,000 or imprisoned for not   16

more than 5 years or both.                                                                         17

               "(2) Any person convicted of insurance fraud in the second degree who has been      18

convicted previously of insurance fraud pursuant to sections 125b or 125c, or a felony             19



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conviction based on similar grounds in any other jurisdiction, shall be fined not more than              1

$210,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.                                              2

       “(c) Any person convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud shall be fined not more than             3

$1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or both.                                                4

       "(d) A person convicted of a felony violation of this subtitle shall be disqualified from         5

engaging in the business of insurance, subject to 18 U.S.C. § 1033(e)(2).".                              6

       (e) Section 125g(a) (D.C. Official Code & 22-3225.07) is amended by striking the phrase           7

"offense of insurance fraud in the first degree" and inserting the phrase "offenses of insurance         8

fraud in the first degree or the second degree".                                                         9

       (f) New sections 125k and 1251 are added to read as follows:                                     10

       "Sec. 125k. Prohibition of solicitation.                                                         11

       "(a)(1) It is unlawful for a practitioner, whether directly or through a paid intermediary       12

to solicit for financial gain a client, patient, or customer within 21 days of a motor vehicle          13

accident with the intent to seek benefits under a contract of insurance or to assert a claim against    14

an insured, a governmental entity, or an insurer on behalf of any person arising out of the             15

accident occurrence.                                                                                    16

               "(2) Exceptions. The prohibition in paragraph (1) does not prohibit a practitioner       17

from soliciting a client. patient, or customer by regular mail through the U.S. Postal Service or       18

through the use of general advertising directed to the public; nor does it prohibit a practitioner or   19

his agents from contacting a potential client, patient, or customer, or a family member, friend, or     20

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coworker of the potential client, patient, or customer, where the practitioner has a preexisting          1

business or personal relationship with the potential client, patient, or customer; nor does it            2

prohibit a practitioner or his agents from contacting,a potential client, patient, or customer where      3

the contact was initiated by the potential client, patient, or customer, or by a family member,           4

friend, or coworker of the potential client patient or customer. Nothing herein shall be deemed           5

to prohibit advice and assistance to incarcerated persons in pursing administrative remedies that         6

may be a prerequisite to suit or in seeking appropriate medical care and treatment.                       7

        "(b) It is unlawful for a person to solicit for financial gain a client, patient, or customer     8

within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident for the purpose of directing the client, patient, or           9

customer to a practitioner, except as permitted by paragraph (a)(2) of this section.                     10

        “(c) A person or practitioner found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated the 11

provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000. The Mayor may increase         12

this penalty by rulemaking.                                                                              13

        "(d) In the event that a person involved in an automobile accident, or his parent or             14

guardian, executes within 21 days of a motor vehicle accident a release of liability, without the        15

assistance or guidance of legal counsel, pursuant to the settlement of a claim for personal injury,      16

that person or his parent or guardian may thereafter void the release, provided that the insurance       17

carrier or other settling partv receives written notice of the intent to void the release, the written   18

notice is received within 7 business 14 calendar days of the date that the release was executed,         19

and the written notice is accompanied by any check or settlement proceeds (related to the claim          20

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for personal injury) that had been delivered to the claimant. A release of liability executed         1

within 21 days of the accident giving rise to the claim of personal injury by a person who is not     2

represented by counsel shall contain a notice of the claimant's right to rescind conspicuously and    3

separatelv stated on the release.                                                                     4

       "(e) The provisions of this section 125k are not severable.                                    5

       "Sec. 1251. Restriction on the distribution of automobile accident reports.                    6

       “(a) It is unlawful for any person or practitioner prohibited from soliciting clients,         7

patients, or customers pursuant to section 125k to obtain or seek to obtain reports of motor          8

vehicle accidents filed with the Metropolitan Police Department within 21 days of the accident.       9

       “(b) A person or practitioner found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated the     10

provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000. The Mayor may increase     11

this penalty by rulemaking.”.                                                                        12

       Sec. 3. Section 389 of An Act To provide for the more effective prevention, detection         13

and punishment of crime in the District of Columbia, approved June 29, 1953 (67 Stat. 99; D.C.       14

Official Code § 5-113.06), is amended as follows:                                                    15

       (a) Subsection (a) is amended by striking the phrase "The records" and inserting the          16

phrase "Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the records" in its place.             17

       (b) A new subsection (c) is added to read as follows:                                         18

       "(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the Metropolitan Police Department shall not           19

release or otherwise make available reports of motor vehicle accidents to any person prohibited      20

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from soliciting or procuring clients, patients, or customers pursuant to sections 125kc-2 or 1251      1

of the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982, as approved by the              2

Committee on the Judiciary on November 8, 2005 (Committee print Bill 16-208). This section             3

does not prohibit either an attorney retained by a person involved in the accident, or the agent of    4

such an attorney from obtaining the report of that accident.                                           5

               "(2) In addition to any other requirements, a person requesting to inspect or copy      6

a motor vehicle accident report within 21 days of the accident shall:                                  7

                        "(A) Produce for inspection and copying a government-issued, photo             8

identification; and                                                                                    9

                        "(B) Provide a signed statement that:                                         10

                               "(i) Identifies the requested report;                                  11

                               "(ii) Includes the printed full name of the requestor; and             12

                               "(iii) Attests Verifies that the requestor is not prohibited from      13

obtaining the report by section 125c-3 of the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar             14

Crimes Act of 1982, as approved by the Committee on the Judiciary on November 8, 2005                 15

(Committee print of Bill 16-208).                                                                     16

               "(3) For each request to inspect or copy a motor vehicle accident report made          17

within 21 days of the accident, the Metropolitan Police Department shall maintain for one year a      18

copy of the requestor's photo identification and the statement provided pursuant to paragraph (2)     19

of this subsection.".                                                                                 20

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       Sec. 4. Fiscal impact statement.                                                               1

       The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact    2

statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act,                    3

approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(3)).                       4

       Sec. 5. Effective date.                                                                        5

       This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the     6

Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 60-day period of Congressional review as        7

provided in section 602(c)(2) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December            8

24,1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(2)), and publication in the District of       9

Columbia Register.                                                                                   10




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