Another 13 people have been convicted on auto fraud charges in Colleton County, bringing the number of arrests in an organized fraud ring to 32. The staged-accident cases were investigated by SLED and the National Insurance Crime Bureau and prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General. Most of the defendants are from Walterboro.
Allison Love with the South Carolina Insurance News Service says that the operation was huge. “As far as we know, this is the largest which has ever staged accidents in the state of South Carolina. This brings the total to 32 and there are still four more cases pending in the Colleton County court system. What’s important for people to know is that there are people staging accidents throughout the state and that affects the cost for everyone paying insurance.”
Love reminds everyone that the most common type of insurance fraud is committed by average citizens, not organized rings. “A lot of people think that they’ve been paying their insurance for a long time so when it comes time to file a claim, they inflate the claim or pad the claim. That’s fraud and you can go to jail for that.”
Some of the defendants will only have to pay restitution to insurance companies. Some face jail time.
You can report insurance fraud to the Insurance Fraud Hotline–1-888-95-FRAUD. All reports remain confidential.