Attorney General Alan Wilson Announces Guilty Plea Tied to Large Insurance Fraud Ring

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 13, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces the guilty plea and sentencing of a Sumter man who was part of a large insurance fraud ring. On April 12, 2018, Jair Hakeem Golden, 21, pleaded guilty as charged to Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000.  Judge R. Ferrell Cothran gave him a Youthful Offender Act sentence, not to exceed 6 years.  This sentence was suspended to 5 years of probation.  A special condition of probation is for Mr. Golden to pay $16,564.12 in restitution.  Probation may terminate upon the payment of restitution.  Jason Bridges of the Sumter County Public Defender’s Office represented Golden.

“Insurance fraud is a real problem in South Carolina that raises all of our rates,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our office will continue to go after these criminals.”

Jair Golden was approached by a co-defendant/cousin by the name of Demarkus Lane.  Lane asked Mr. Golden if he wanted to make some money.  All Lane needed Golden to do was use his name to cash a check.  On February 6, 2017, Demarkus Lane then staged a car accident on Bagnal Dr. and Oswego Hwy in Sumter County.  Lane went for treatment at the hospital, but he told the facility his name was Jair Golden.  Subsequently, the hospital sent the bills to Mr. Golden.  After receiving the bills, the two men went to the Geico claims office and presented a claim for the amount of $16,564.12.  Geico wrote Mr. Golden a check, and he signed for and cashed it.

Lane is also charged in this case with Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000, Making a False Statement or Representation $10,000-$50,000, and Forgery Greater than $10,000.  He also has 3 additional counts of Presenting a False Claim for Payment and Forgery pending.  There are more than 30 other co-defendants in this insurance fraud ring.  Assistant Attorney General LaRone Washington is prosecuting the cases.  The cases were investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Attorney General Wilson stressed the other defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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