Musician Billy Preston Pleads Guilty to Insurance Fraud

October 11, 2001

Billy Preston, a singer/keyboard man who has recorded and performed with such musical luminaries as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, pled guilty this week to insurance fraud. The charges were in relation to an alleged scam that defrauded carriers out of approximately $1 million.

According to the Associated Press, the Grammy-winning Preston, already doing time for violating probation on a prior conviction for cocaine possession, agreed to testify against six other defendants in the case, who allegedly participated in setting fires, staging thefts and rigging auto crashes for which a total of 18 fraudulent insurance claims were filed. According to Preston’s attorney, Craig T. Wormley, among those charged are Preston’s former manager, Merle Otis Greene.

Under the plea agreement, Preston will be required to pay $60,000 in restitution, and will receive five years of probation and one year in jail, the latter two to run concurrently with Preston’s current sentence.

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