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Michigan Felony Insurance and Computer Fraud Dismissed With No Jail
In a case handled by Barone Defense Firm Insurance Fraud lawyer Ryan Ramsayer, our client, originally charged with five felony counts for insurance and computer fraud, will end up with no convictions and no jail after successful completion of a short period of probation.
Originally, our client accused of four felony counts of possession/sale of stolen/counterfeit insurance certificates, as set forth in Michigan Compiled Laws sec. Section 257.329 and another felony count of using a computer to commit a crime pursuant to Michigan Compiled Laws sec. Section 750.145d. Each of the four insurance counts carried up to four years in prison. The use of a computer carried a potential of up to ten years in prison. Even worse, each of the insurance charges the possibility of mandatory prison time.
The charges stemmed from our client printing out statements that appeared to be insurance certificates at the insurance company he worked for. However, they were not actual insurance certificates and did not have any policy number, as they were not active policies. Instead, people requested these forms to try to get cars or license plates when they could not afford insurance to put on their vehicles. Unfortunately, the client also made them sign a form, which indicated that he was not providing them insurance. These forms would be used to show that the client may have done more than the four counts he was charged with.
However, soon these forms were discovered by a local car dealership and reported to the police. The investigation led to my client admitting to providing the forms. He also entered into a civil agreement with the State to pay a fine of $25,000.00 for his actions, even though he only made around $800 from the sales of the non-policy insurance documents. Everything would have worked out for our client had he been able to pay the $25,000.00 within 30 days. However, like most of us, he was unable to come up with the money in that time.
Eventually, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office filed the felony criminal charges. Fearing that prison was the next stop, our client enlisted our help. Through extensive negotiations we were able to work with the AG’s Office to try to structure a satisfactory agreement. However, it was an uphill battle every step of the way.
After reviewing the case, the Assistant AG felt that our client was complicit in a scheme to defraud the State of Michigan. It took several long conversations and a detailed letter for her to fully appreciate our client’s predicament. Specifically, our client was only 20 years old when he produced the non-policy insurance documents. In the five years since, he had not had a single speeding ticket. Instead, he had married, started a family, bought a home, and advanced his career. He was, and remains, a model citizen.
To protect his family and his future, we needed to secure a change in charges, to avoid the mandatory prison time on the first four counts. We got that accomplished by having the charges with mandatory minimum sentences reduced to Insurance-Fraudulent Acts under MCL 500.4503, with no mandatory minimum prison sentence. Then we needed them to allow us to plea under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which will dismiss the charges at the end of his probation. We accomplished that. We also worked out a payment plan for his $25,000.00, which he still owed. Finally, after all of that, we were able to convince the Judge to not assign a single day of jail. Instead, after a short probation, our client will have avoided jail and a criminal record completely!
Our client gets a chance to continue demonstrating a lesson learned, while the Barone Defense Firm gets another win.