Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck Federally Indicted

May 14, 2019

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck, a republican, has been federally indicted on 38 charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Pak said he expects Beck to turn himself in by noon on Wednesday.

The indictment from the U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia namesd Beck as the sole defendant. It said he devised a scheme to defraud the Georgia Underwriting Association starting around February 2013 until June 2018, where he was the general manager.

"The allegations contained in the grand jury indictment do not touch upon his current role, however holding a powerful position does not shield you from your past criminal activities," Pak said. 

The GUA is the company which carries out the requirements of Georgia's Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, or FAIR, law by offering high risk insurance.

The indictment alleged Beck, working in collaboration with people not named in the indictment, submitted a number of fake invoices to the GUA through a number of shell companies. According to the indictment, the invoices netted more than $2 million in funds. 

“There’s payment on personal credit card expenses and investments in personal accounts and also rental properties," Pak said. "There’s of course payments to Jim Beck for Georgia Inc, which I believe is his campaign account. There's also payment of actual taxes that Mr. Beck owed to the government.”

Beck, a Republican, was elected last November, replacing Ralph Hudgens. On Beck’s website he says he has 30 years of experience in the insurance business and “knows where fraud occurs and how to stop it in its tracks.”

He denied the charges in a statement released through his attorneys, William Thomas of W.H. Thomas Firm, LLC. His attorneys called the accusations against him false.

They also noted the charges stem from his work as a non-governmental employee and that he plans to continue working as the state’s insurance commissioner.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:11 p.m. to include information form the U.S. Attorneys office.