Federal officials have sentenced former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck to federal prison following his conviction for stealing more than $2.5 million from the Georgia Underwriting Association (GUA).
This, according to a press release that staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia published Wednesday.
“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 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 Georgia,” the press release said.
“While Beck served as General Manager of GUA, he also maintained controlling financial interests in two businesses known as Creative Consultants and the GA Christian Coalition. Beginning in 2013, Beck talked four associates — all of whom were either friends or family members — into forming four separate businesses that supposedly supplied necessary services, including residential property inspections and water damage mitigation, to GUA. 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 companies. Beck then prepared fraudulent invoices from Creative Consultants and GA Christian Coalition for services that were never performed, and, at Beck’s direction, his four associates paid the fraudulent invoices from the money they had been paid from GUA.”
Beck stole more than $2.5 million from GUA between February 2013 and August 2018, the press release said.
Officials also sentenced Beck for his convictions on four counts of tax fraud for filing false federal income tax returns for the years 2014 through 2018, the press release said.
“Beck’s tax returns for those years were fraudulent because they substantially overstated business expenses and substantially understated business profits for Beck’s Creative Consultants and GA Christian Coalition,” the press release said.
“The tax loss to the IRS was more than $350,000.”
– – –
Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jim Beck” by Zach191944 CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Courtroom” by AZZJJ CC BY-SA 4.0.