UPDATE: 11 Macon residents facing insurance fraud charges for staging car accidents
Tamika Hogan is facing charges for theft by deception, insurance fraud, and false report of a crime. Investigators tell 41NBC Sammy Briggs Jr. is also in custody.
Officials say Hogan, Briggs, and nine other people rented moving trucks and purposely crashed them into their cars. They would then file a claim with their insurance agency. In two cases, some of the suspects tried to collect $30,000. Four of them tried to get $50,000.
“Anytime fraud is committed against an insurance company, it causes every citizens’ in Georgia an increase in their premium because Georgia law mandates that you have to have automobile insurance,” explained the Georgia Fire Safety and Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.
Four of the eleven suspects are also facing felony cruelty to children charges because they had minors in the back of their cars when they staged the accidents.
“That makes this even more heinous. They’re trying scam the insurance out of more money to pay for a child’s supposed injury. That just takes it up to an even more severe level of abuse,” said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.
Demario James, Tamika Dashon, and Sherrod James still have outstanding warrants for these cases.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Eleven Macon residents are facing insurance fraud charges after a state investigation.
According to the Georgia Department of Insurance, six people were arrested on charges of insurance fraud on Monday. Five other Bibb County residents have outstanding warrants.
The state agency says the arrest stem from three separate investigations referred to the Department by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Fraud agents say the 11 suspects staged car accidents. The cases involved similar circumstances where the two people purposely hit another car in order to get insurance claim payments.
The state insurance department says the first investigation involved 25-year-old Haaruwn Prince, 20-year-old Zanquanishia Floyd, 23-year-old Demario Anton James, and 52-year-old Sammy Lee Briggs Jr. The four suspects allegedly attempted to collect more than $30,000 in claim payments from their insurers after Prince hit Floyd’s car. Two minors were inside Floyd’s car.
The four suspects in the first case are charged with one county of insurance fraud. Prince, Floyd, and James are charged with one count of false report of a crime and two counts of cruelty to children, which is a felony. Floyd is also charged with one county of theft by deception, which is also a felony.
The second investigation involved 69-year-old Sammie Lee Starks, 19-year-old Linniece Victoria Starks, 20-year-old Tamika Dashon, and 22-year-old Jonathan Gutierrez. The Georgia Department of Insurance says Sammie Starks allegedly attempted to get $30,000 claim payments after Hogan hit Stark’s vehicle, which Linniece Stark was driving at the time.
Each suspect in the second case are charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception. Linniece Starks and Tamika Hogan are also charged with filing a false report of a crime.
The third investigation involved Prince, 46-year-old Bryant Orlando Tanner, 22-year-old Sherrod Herschel James, and 22-year-old Darnez Rashod Cotton. State investigators say Prince hit the vehicle Tanner was driving and two minors were inside. The state agency says the four offenders ties to collect more than $50,000 in claim payments from their insurers.
Each suspect in the third case is charged with one count of insurance fraud. Prince and Tanner are also charged with two counts of cruelty to children in the second degree and one count each of filing a false police report. These charges are in addition to the four charges filed against Prince in the first investigation.
“I appreciate the National Insurance Crime Bureau for the referrals of these three cases and the assistance of Sheriff Davis and he deputies with the arrests,” Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said in a statement. “Not only are accident rings dangerous for the public, they make everyone’s auto premiums go up.”
Insurance fraud is a felony that carries a penalty of two to ten years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, or potentially both.
If you suspect insurance fraud, call the Georgia Department of Insurance at (404) 656-2070 or (800) 656-2298.