Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck Charged with $2,000,000 Fraud Scheme
Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim C. Beck has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The 38-count indictment alleges that Beck stole more than $2,000,000 from his former employer, the Georgia Underwriting Association, during the five years just prior to Beck’s election to statewide office in November, 2018.
“The grand jury seeks to hold Commissioner Beck accountable for taking advantage of his position at the Georgia Underwriting Association. Beck allegedly pocketed a substantial amount of money to which he was not entitled while he was the GUA General Manager for Operations,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “To be clear, the grand jury has charged Commissioner Beck with crimes that occurred before he was elected to his current public office.”
“The FBI investigation found that Beck abused the trust of friends and his employer (GUA), in an elaborate scheme to enrich himself at GUA’s expense,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The indictment is a testament to the fact that the FBI will expend all resources necessary to hold those who seek to enrich themselves through fraud and deceit, accountable for their actions.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak and the indictment: From January 2012 until Beck was sworn in as Insurance Commissioner on January 14, 2019, Beck worked as the General Manager of Operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association (GUA) after being elected to that post by the GUA board of directors. GUA, located in Suwanee, Georgia, is an insurance association created as part of the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) law to provide high-risk property insurance to homeowners located throughout Georgia. In addition to premiums collected from its customers, GUA is also funded by issuing assessments to the association members, which include every insurer authorized to write any form of property insurance in the State of Georgia.
While Beck served as General Manager at GUA, he also maintained controlling financial interests in two businesses known as Creative Consultants and the Georgia Christian Coalition. Beginning in 2013, Beck allegedly talked four associates into forming four separate businesses which supposedly supplied necessary services including residential property inspections and water damage mitigation to GUA. These new businesses are identified in the indictment as Companies A, B, C, and D.
Then, through an elaborate system of fraudulent invoicing which included producing false documentation and concealing the truth from his four associates, Beck regularly approved substantial GUA payments to the four new companies. Beck then allegedly sent fraudulent invoices from Creative Consultants and the GA Christian Coalition to Companies A, B, C, and D. At Beck’s direction, his four associates paid the fraudulent invoices from a portion of the money they had been paid by GUA. All told, between February 2013 and August 2018, Beck defrauded GUA out of more than $2,000,000.
Jim C. Beck, 57, of Carrollton, Georgia, was indicted on May 14, 2019. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
U.S. Attorney Pak and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Alan Gray, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section, are prosecuting the case.