Colleton County Fire-Rescue

5/18/2009

13 Convictions for Auto Fraud in Colleton County Brings Total to More than 30
May 18, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Allison Dean Love
803-252-3455 or cell phone 803-413-1044
alove@scinsnews.com

Columbia, S.C. May 15, 2009 Another 13 convictions for insurance fraud in Colleton County last week brought the total to more than 30 since last September. On Thursday, May 14, the following defendants each pled guilty to one count of the lesser-included offense of Presenting False Claims for Payment more than $1,000 but less than $5,000 before The Honorable Perry Buckner in Colleton County:
  • Nicole Elliott, age 25, of 106 Del Ray Drive, Walterboro;
  • Nicole Elliott, age 25, of 106 Del Ray Drive, Walterboro;
  • Tamika Elliott, age 32, of 8387 Charleston Highway, Walterboro;
  • Gladys Michelle Middleton, age 26, of 559 Orangeburg Road, Summerville;
  • Sherie Lisa Middleton, age 23, of 189 Beach Road, Walterboro;
  • Jason Jarmal Givens, age 29, of 502 King Street, Walterboro;
  • Verdie Elaine Hugie, age 46, of 215 Calloh Drive, Walterboro
  • Rickie Hugie, age 48, of 7000 Middle Street, Columbia;
  • Sharon Denita Donaldson, age 26, of 203 Corideau Street, Walterboro;
  • Timothy Tyrone Behling, age 23, of 49 Enchanted Lane, Walterboro;
  • Dexter Raynard Landy, age 21, of 500 Bowman Lane, Walterboro; and
  • Preston Tremaine Roberts, age 19, of 3399 Cooks Hill Road, Walterboro

Also, defendants Phyllis Simmons, age 48, of 8249 Ritter Road, Walterboro, and Jamie Brown, age 35, of 40 Pentgage Court, Yemassee, each pled guilty to two counts of the lesser-included offense of Presenting False Claims for Payment more than $1,000 but less than $5,000. All defendants were originally indicted with Presenting False Claims for Payment, $5,000 or more.

On or about March 29, 2005, defendants Nicole Elliott, Tamika Elliott and Phyllis Simmons presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to Safe Auto Insurance Company totaling over $10,000. They claimed they were involved in a car accident after an unknown vehicle ran them off Cooks Hill Road in Walterboro causing their car to catch fire. Investigation revealed the wreck was staged and the fire was intentionally set. Nicole Elliott had a prior conviction for operating an uninsured vehicle. Judge Buckner sentenced Nicole Elliott to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for four years and ordered her to pay restitution of $4,423 to Safe Auto and $283 to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Tamika Elliott was sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for four years and ordered to pay restitution of $1,636 to Safe Auto and $647 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue. Simmons was sentenced on this count to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for five years and ordered to pay $1,388 to Safe Auto and $647 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue. Two co-defendants in this case pled guilty previously.

Defendant Phyllis Simmons also presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to Permanent General Assurance Group totaling about $20,000 on or about February 15, 2007. She said that she struck a tree after she lost control of her car at Blackcreek & Meewville Roads in Colleton County, but investigation revealed the wreck was staged. She was sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for five years on this count and ordered to pay restitution of $1,876 to Permanent General and $656 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $6,628 to Peak Property & Casualty Company as part of her agreement. Her sentences were concurrent.

On or about April 17, 2006, Defendant Jamie Brown presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to Peak Property & Casualty Company totaling over $7,000. He claimed he was a passenger in a car that was hit by an unknown vehicle, run off Cooks Hill Road in Walterboro, and burst into flames. Investigation revealed that the wreck was staged and the fire was intentionally set. Brown had prior convictions for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and narcotics and weapons charges. Judge Buckner sentenced him on this count to five years imprisonment suspended to six months imprisonment and four years probation. He was ordered to pay restitution of $1,397 to Peak Property. A co-defendant in this case pled guilty previously.

Defendant Jamie Brown presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment totaling over $8,000 to Peak Property & Casualty on or about April 26, 2007. He claimed that he was involved in another car accident in Walterboro after the driver swerved to miss a deer, but investigation revealed the wreck was staged. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment on this count suspended to six months imprisonment and four years probation. He was ordered to pay $1,406 to Peak Property on this count. His sentences were concurrent. A co-defendant in this case also pled guilty previously.

On or about July 2, 2007, defendants Gladys Middleton, Sherie Middleton and Jason Givens presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to Bristol West Insurance Group. They claimed they were involved in a car accident on Confederate Highway in Walterboro, but investigation revealed the wreck was staged. Givens had a prior conviction for resisting arrest. Judge Buckner sentenced them to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for four years. Gladys Middleton was ordered to pay restitution of $2,608 to Bristol West, $719 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue and $738 to Health and Human Services. Sherie Middleton was ordered to pay $2,779 to Bristol West and $349 to Health and Human Services. Givens was ordered to pay $4,641 to Bristol West and $580 to Lodge Rescue Squad.

On or about August 15, 2007, defendants Verdie Hugie and Rickie Hugie presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to State Farm in a total amount over $35,000. They claimed they had been involved in a car accident on Mt. Carmel Rd. in Walterboro, but investigation revealed the wreck was staged. Verdie Hugie had a prior conviction for shoplifting and was sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for five years. She was ordered to pay restitution of $13,677 to State Farm. Rickie Hugie had a prior record of assault and battery and was sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended with probation for five years. He was ordered to pay $11,461 to State Farm. A co-defendant in this case pled guilty previously.

On or about September 4, 2007, defendants Sharon Donaldson, Timothy Behling, Dexter Landy and Preston Roberts presented or caused to be presented false claims for payment to Nationwide Insurance Company. They claimed they were involved in an accident also on Mt. Carmel Rd. after an unknown vehicle ran them off the road and into a tree. However, investigation revealed the wreck was staged. Donaldson had prior convictions for assault, breach of peace, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Behling, Each were sentenced to four years imprisonment suspended with four years probation. Donaldson was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,398 to Nationwide, $562 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue and $124 to Health and Human Services. Behling and Landy were each ordered to pay $3,398 to Nationwide and $562 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue and Roberts was ordered to pay $3,398 to Nationwide and $637 to Colleton County Fire-Rescue.

These cases were investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the National Insurance Crime Bureau and prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.

Report Insurance Fraud to the South Carolina Insurance Fraud Hotline 1-888-95-FRAUD. All reports remain confidential.

For more information on insurance fraud in South Carolina or for an interview call 803-252-3455 or e-mail alove@scinsnews.com.

For more than 30 years, the South Carolina Insurance News Service, a nonprofit organization, has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues. The News Service is funded by insurance companies doing business in South Carolina.