Attorney General Wilson announces guilty plea for insurance fraud tied to bogus burglary

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Timothy Hicks, 51, of Lamar, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on September 10, 2018 on an insurance fraud charge. Hicks pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment $2,000 – $10,000.

The Honorable Paul M. Burch accepted the plea and sentenced Hicks to five years in prison on his charge.  That sentence is suspended to two years of probation.

“Our team is working hard to fight insurance fraud,” said Attorney General Wilson. “Regardless of what kind of insurance fraud it is, it costs all of us money in higher rates,” said Attorney General Wilson.

The incident began on August 19, 2016 when Mr. Hicks initiated a claim for property loss to his insurance company Homesite Insurance.  The date of loss was July 7, 2016 and was the result of an alleged burglary to his residence.  Hicks signed a Personal Property Inventory form provided by Homesite Insurance to verify the items that he was claiming as stolen during the burglary.  On the form was one iPhone 6S Plus valued at $949, one 65” Samsung TV valued at $4,000 and one 20” diamond cut 14K gold chain valued at $1,020.  Hicks then submitted receipts for these items.

The claim was flagged as suspicious, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was asked to do an investigation.  The Special Agent responded to the AT&T Store regarding the phone.  The sales manager acknowledged that the receipt Mr. Hicks submitted to the insurance company was not a legitimate receipt.  The SLED agent then traveled to Badcock Home Furnishings about the television, and Badcock’s manager acknowledged that Mr. Hicks’ receipt was not a legitimate one.  Finally, Wal-Mart was visited to find out if the receipt for the chain was real.  It was determined the receipts were not from there.

A co-defendant, Angela Mack, was linked to the fraudulent claim.  She was questioned and admitted that she prepared a handwritten receipt for Mr. Hicks to turn into the insurance company.

The Attorney General emphasizes defendants’ presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The cases were investigated by SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General LaRone Washington.

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