Georgia Makes Multiple Arrests in $120M, Multi-State Insurance Fraud Scheme

June 20, 2019

Several individuals were arrested last week involved in an insurance fraud scheme stretching all the way to California that is believed to have totaled $120 million in losses, according to the Georgia Department of Insurance.

Agents in the Fraud Investigations Division at the Georgia Department of Insurance assisted the California Department of Insurance and the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office with the arrests of two individuals involved in the scheme that involved creating fake certificates of insurance. Another individual was later arrested in Georgia.

Wesley Bernard Owens, 47, of Suwanee, Ga., and Beau Eric Wilson, 34, of Gainesville, Ga., were arrested on on June 13 on multiple counts of identity fraud, felony theft, forgery and operating an unlawful insurance business, among other charges.

Owens and Wilson allegedly created fake certificates of insurance claiming large groups of agricultural workers were insured when they were not. The certificates claimed the workers were temporary office staffers. GADOI said the scheme collapsed when injury claims coming into California were not paid because there was never insurance on the workers to begin with.

Owens is the CEO of Bison Workforce Solutions and Bison Data Systems which are both based in Gwinnett County. A search warrant was executed in May of 2017 at the businesses in coordination with the California Department of Insurance. After processing data and conducting interviews, the California Department of Insurance moved forward with the case.

Owens was arrested in Gwinnett County and faces 18 total counts, including six counts of insurance fraud, six counts of ID fraud, two counts of felony theft, two counts of forgery, one count of operating an unlawful insurance business, and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime (RICO).

Wilson was arrested in Hall County and faces 29 total counts, including 13 counts of felony theft, six counts of insurance fraud, six counts of ID fraud, two counts of forgery, one count of operating an unlawful insurance business, and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime (RICO).

Agents also attempted to serve an arrest warrant at the home of Ronda Nicole Taylor, 48, of Stone Mountain on June 13 as she has 21 outstanding warrants for being involved in the scheme, but Taylor was not home at the time. GADOI said she has since been arrested. A fourth suspect was also arrested in Florida.

It is estimated that the scheme totals $120 million in losses.

The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office, and California Department of Insurance assisted with the arrest and extradition of these individuals, who are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Insurance fraud is a felony punishable by imprisonment for two to ten years, or by a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Source: Georgia Department of Insurance

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