Austin Texas Criminal Defense Blog

What do you know about bank fraud accusations?

With the advances in technology, it's become even easier to stay on top of, and manage, our money and financial accounts. The internet has opened up a whole platform in which transfers, deposits and account reconciliation can happen with a few clicks of a finger. Most people use this technology responsibly, but some have leveraged it as a tool from which to engage in bank fraud, or other white collar crimes.

While technology is one means in which those could commit these type of crimes, there are many traditional ways to engage as well. These happen not by using technology, but other means. Fraud is characterized as a crime in which one deceives someone for monetary gain. Therefore, bank fraud happens when a person deceives someone and accesses another's bank assets or funds that aren't meant for them.

What is the OIG exclusion list and what can I do if I’m on it?

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) oversees and investigates allegations of fraud and abuse in the national healthcare systems, including Medicaid and Medicare. As part of their oversight, they keep track of all Medicaid and Medicare abuse cases against healthcare workers. The OIG may place any healthcare provider who was convicted for Medicare or Medicaid fraud on a “List of Excluded Individuals/Entities.” If you are on the exclusion list, you can no longer receive payments for your services from the federal government.


New bill looks to reform drug offender sentencing, rehabilitation

A new bill to come across the President's desk looks to make a change to sentencing and rehabilitation of convicted drug offenders. The Senate passed it recently with a sweeping vote of 87-12, which is the result of years of negotiation. Essentially, the bill aims to make reforms to the criminal justice process for convicted drug offenders. Since it's a federally mandated change, it will affect those processed through federal courts, not Texas state courts.

This would mean the drug offense the offender is accused or convicted of would need to be serious to see federal court. This is usually reserved for those who are accused of drug trafficking or other federal offenses. When signed by the President, the bill will give more discretion to federal judges in sentencing of convicted drug offenders. It also reduces the maximum possible sentence for three strike drug offenders from life to 25 years in prison.

Drug trafficking charges are serious criminal charges

Drug trafficking charges are serious criminal charges and carry potentially significant and stiff penalties and consequences. It is important for any accused individual facing them to understand what drug charges include, the penalties they are facing and their defense options.

Drug trafficking and distribution laws penalize the sale, transportation and illegal import of unlawful controlled substances. Unlawful controlled substances can include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines and other illegal drugs. In addition, these laws can also apply to prescription drugs if they are illegally obtained, possessed or distributed. Drug charges can include possession, trafficking and distribution charges.

The basics of white collar crimes

White collar crimes are a category of crimes that can lead to serious penalties and consequences for accused individuals. White collar crimes can fall into the category of federal offenses that accused individuals should be familiar with.

White collar crimes are typically committed for financial gain. White collar crimes are commonly committed, employing deceit for monetary gain, and the catch all of white collar crime refers to different illegal acts and schemes. The most common types of white collar crimes include different types of fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering. Insurance fraud, securities fraud and scams such as Ponzi schemes can also be included in the broad category of white collar crimes.

Criminal defense options for drug charges and accusations

Criminal drug charges can include charges for prescription drugs in some circumstances as well as prohibited drugs. In circumstances when prescription drugs are fraudulently obtained or possessed, serious consequences may apply. Additionally, if prescription drugs are illegally distributed, potential penalties and consequences may also be faced. Criminal justice options are in place to protect accused individuals.

Drug charges are serious criminal charges and can include charges for possession; manufacturing; distribution; trafficking; and prescription fraud. In addition to prescription drugs, accused individuals can face drug charges for illegal drugs including cocaine; heroin; methamphetamine; and designer drugs.

Machine learning being turned towards Medicare fraud detection

Machine learning and similar technologies have the potential to have impacts on many different areas. A recent study indicates that this could well include the health care fraud detection process.

The study was by researchers at Florida Atlantic University. In the study, the researchers used a data set involving Medicare claims to develop a process for mapping fraudulent claims activity and teaching computers to detect potential fraud.

Texas General Hospital fails to meet minimum safety standards

Texas General Hospital recently lost its ability to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid system. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Grand Prairie hospital failed to meet minimum health and safety standards.

Between May and August, auditors conducted a series of inspections at the hospital. The inspectors found patients’ health was continually being put at risk due to the unsafe conditions at Texas General.

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