Criminal Law

Financial Crimes


Insurance Fraud

Maria Patterson started her legal career in 1997 as an insurance defense attorney in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Maryland.

FINANCIAL CRIMES

Insurance Fraud

Maria worked with several former Assistant State’s Attorneys and handled numerous insurance defense cases involving allegations of fraud. Many of these cases were sent for her to defend by the fraud divisions (special investigation units) of major insurance companies. One case involved a known drug lord who was making fraudulent insurance claims to help finance his drug business. The FBI was involved, along with their own surveillance team, and the insurance company’s surveillance team.

Maria later defended a case involving a D.C. man, believed to have set his car on fire to collect the insurance proceeds. In court, Maria Patterson, after calling arson and car key expert witnesses to testify, was able to prove that the D.C. man’s only key was the last key to start the car and that an accelerant was used to set his car on fire. Further, it was shown that the car’s lack of oil had done significant engine damage, rendering the car almost useless.

Other claims involve valuable property or merchandise left in unlocked cars or cars that are allegedly broken into. There can be a pattern of comprehensive claims such as these that are red flags to insurance companies. In fact, a person with a history of numerous insurance claims will often be a red flag to insurance companies, whether or not they were legitimate and lawful claims. Often, people who live in high crime areas can be repeat victims of theft and vandalism.

Most criminal defense lawyers have not served as insurance defense lawyers.  If your insurance company requests an examination under oath or has referred your claim to a prosecutor you should retain a criminal lawyer that has prosecuted and defended insurance fraud cases.

SOME CASES JUST LOOK BAD ON PAPER.  INSURANCE ADJUSTERS MAY JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS OR PRE-JUDGE A CLAIM AND BE CYNICAL.

WHEN AN INSURANCE COMPANY SUSPECTS THE FINANCIAL CRIME  OF INSURANCE FRAUD, THEY WILL ASK FOR AN EXAMINATION UNDER OATH (EUO) OF THEIR POLICY HOLDER.

Examinations Under Oath

Maria Patterson worked for State Farm insurance company as a trial attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland for almost a decade. She continued learning the policy defenses and legal obligations of insurance companies and their insureds.  She conducted Examinations Under Oath for State Farm.

Insurance adjusters are trained to spot fraudulent claims.  If your claim shares similarities with fraudulent claims then an investigation will follow.

  • Most insurance fraud charges start with a request for an EUO.
  • Most insurance fraud cases arise out of vehicle fires, vehicle thefts, arson, and injury claims.
  • One common scenario is where a car is reported stolen and is later found abandoned after it had been set on fire.
  • In vehicle theft and vehicle fire cases, the insurance companies hire experts who examine the car to try to determine who last drove it.

As a former insurance defense attorney who handled cases involving EUOs, Maria Patterson is well suited to defend those who have been charged with insurance fraud or who have been asked to submit to an Examination Under Oath. Her experience helps her determine why the insurance company perceives the claim as fraudulent and she can assist her clients to prove otherwise, or, in some cases, make sure her clients 5th Amendment privileges are protected.

“I hate to see an insurance adjuster put words in their insured's mouth and then use those words against them. Many people do not have a clear understanding of the consequences of providing a minor inaccuracy in detail(s).”

Maria Patterson, Lawyer

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Patterson Law has been selected as a Top 100 Maryland and Washington D.C. Super lawyer from 2013 to the present.