The Federal crime of Theft or Embezzlement in Connection with Health Care 18 U.S. Code § 669:
(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully embezzles, steals, or otherwise without authority converts to the use of any person other than the rightful owner, or intentionally misapplies any of the moneys, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of a health care benefit program, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both; but if the value of such property does not exceed the sum of $100 the defendant shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(b) As used in this section, the term “health care benefit program” has the meaning given such term in section 24(b) of this title.
Paragraph (b) makes this Federal law much broader than a person might initially think. For example, an employer who withholds health insurance monies from employee checks but does not pay that money to the health insurance provider can be prosecuted under this portion of the US Code. Indeed, this charge is common when a small business employer does not properly handle employee contributions towards a company health insurance plan.
A Federal conviction for Theft or Embezzlement in Connection with Health Care carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years whenever the dollar amount at issue exceeds $100. Since many health care expenses easily exceed $100, this harsh penalty can be imposed for essentially any violation.
Those who are accused of Theft or Embezzlement in Connection with Health Care are well advised to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once, as it is important to properly handle such charges.