Criminal Law

Financial Crimes

Insurance Fraud

Maria Patterson started her legal career in 1997 as an insurance defense attorney. 

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 to her by the fraud divisions (special investigation units) of the 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 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. At trial, Maria Patterson called arson and key expert witnesses to prove that the D.C. man’s only key was the last key to start his car and that an accelerant was used to quickly spread the fire. She also demonstrated that the car’s lack of oil had caused 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 that are red flags to insurance companies. In fact, a person with a history of numerous insurance claims can be a red flag to insurance companies, whether or not they are legitimate and lawful claims. Often, people who live in high crime areas can be repeat victims to theft and vandalism.

When an insurance company suspects a fraudulent claim has been submitted, they can ask for an Examination Under Oath (EUO) of their policy holder.


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.

  • 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.
“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

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.

Some cases just look bad on paper.  Insurance adjusters may jump to conclusions or pre-judge a claim and be cynical.

what to do

Our Successes

Patterson Law takes pride with every client that recovers. Recovery is more than the settlements and verdicts obtained for our clients. Each and every one of these clients had been shepherded through a process where powerful insurance companies fought to defeat or minimize their claims. Each result represents a client’s dignity being affirmed.

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Super Lawyers

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

Get Started Today

If you have been charged with insurance fraud or been asked to appear for an Examination Under Oath, please contact attorney Maria Patterson at 301-888-4878 to schedule a consultation at the offices of Patterson Law. Patterson Law is conveniently located in the Omni Building, 4000 MItchellville Road, Suite A202, Bowie Maryland.  The Annapolis office is located in the Patterson Law Building, 1 Willow Street, Annapolis, Maryland. Lawyer Maria Patterson handles cases in Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Howard, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties.

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