Attorney General Wilson announces multiple convictions for insurance fraud in Sumter

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – September 17, 2018 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Heaven Fran’Tesha Kieonna Johnson, 19, Jordan O’Neil Frierson, 18, and Antonio Debree Jackson, 21, all of Sumter, South Carolina, and Michael Raheim Lucas, 21, of Gable, South Carolina entered pleas of guilty on September 5, 2018 on insurance fraud charges. Johnson and Frierson each pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation $1,000 – $10,000.  Jackson and Lucas both pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Less than $2,000.

 

The Honorable George M. McFaddin, Jr. accepted the pleas and sentenced Johnson to two years in prison on her charge.  That sentence is suspended to three years of probation.  A special condition of her probation is for her to repay $11,500.  Judge McFaddin sentenced Frierson to a Youthful Offender sentence not to exceed four years.  That sentence is suspended to two years’ probation.  As a special condition of probation, Frierson must pay back $1,109.59 of restitution.  Finally, Jackson and Lucas were sentenced to thirty days or $200 fines. 

 

“We take insurance fraud seriously,” said Attorney General Wilson. “We’re grateful that the Court is requiring these defendants to repay the money they got illegally,” he said.

 

In Johnson’s incident she made a claim to USAA Insurance for a vehicle accident that did not occur.  In support of her claim, she submitted fabricated medical bills to the insurance company for over $50,000.  USAA paid her $11,500 before it was discovered that the claim was fraudulent. 

 

The Frierson incident occurred back on January 19, 2017.  Mr. Frierson claimed he was involved in a vehicle collision on US-501 and had been treated at Tuomey Hospital after the accident.  He filed a claim with Horace Mann Insurance for over $4,000 and presented altered medical bills with the claim.  The insurance company paid out $1,109.59 before discovering the claim was false.  During South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s investigation, the agency interviewed Mr. Frierson.  In his interview the defendant said a co-defendant, Gregory Vaughn, asked him if he wanted to make some money.  From there the two of them agreed to make up the accident and submit a claim for payment to the insurance company.

 

Finally, both Jackson and Lucas pleaded guilty based on the same set of facts.  The two of them submitted altered medical bills to their respective insurance companies.  In each case the claims were flagged as suspicious before they were paid.

 

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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