What is my recourse for being forced to commit insurance fraud by my employer?

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What is my recourse for being forced to commit insurance fraud by my employer?

As lead dental assistant I have been forced to order crowns for the past 2 years of a lesser grade than what the patients and insurance companies are paying for (no less than 100,000 in fees). I have approached the dentist on several occasions and have been told just to go with it and keep quiet in order to keep my job. Can I sue them in civil court for insisting I commit insurance fraud?

Asked on February 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not sue them in civil court for insisting you commit fraud; that's because you were NOT forced, under the law, to do this. Someone is forced to commit a crime when he or she is physically threatened, or has his or her family threatened. In your case, though, the only thing you faced if you did not go along was the loss of your job; so to look at it another way, you were basically offered employment--offered the chance to keep you job--if you committed a crime. You voluntarily chose to accept that offer; you could have refused and let the dentist fire you, or you could have quit, and in either case, you could have then gone to the authorities or the insurer to report the fraud.

You may still wish to contact the authorities or the insurer, though you should retain and speak with a criminal defense attorney before doing anything--you have been a willing accomplice to insurance fraud, so you potentially face both civil and criminal liability (that is, you could potentially be sued and jailed) if and when this comes to light. The law does not let you commit a crime to keep your job or paycheck. You can likely improve the outcome for you personally by coming forward about the crime--but again, with what is at stake, consult with a criminal defense attorney before doing anything.


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