FROM STAFF REPORTS
Three Sumterites and one man from Gable entered guilty pleas on Sept. 5 on insurance fraud charges according to a news release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Heaven Fran'Tesha Kieonna Johnson, 19, and Jordan O'Neil Frierson, 18, both of Sumter, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement or misrepresentation $1,000 to $10,000. Antonio Debree Jackson, 21, of Sumter, and Michael Raheim Lucas, 21, of Gable, both pleaded guilty to one count of presenting a false claim for payment less than $2,000.
Judge George M. McFaddin Jr. accepted the pleas and sentenced Johnson to two years in prison on her charge, suspended to three years of probation. Johnson's probation includes a special condition for her to repay $11,500. McFaddin sentenced Frierson to a Youthful Offender sentence not to exceed four years suspended to two years' probation. As a special condition of probation, Frierson must pay back $1,109.59 of restitution. Jackson and Lucas were sentenced to 30 days or $200 fines. According to the release, Johnson made a claim to USAA Insurance for a wreck that did not occur. In support of her claim, she submitted fabricated medical bills to the insurance company for more than $50,000. USAA paid her $11,500 before it was discovered that the claim was fraudulent.
Frierson stated he was involved in a collision on U.S. 501 and was treated at Palmetto Health Tuomey. He filed a claim with Horace Mann Insurance for more than $4,000 and presented altered medical bills with the claim. The insurance company paid out $1,109.59 before discovering the claim was false. In an interview with SLED, Frierson said a co-defendant, Gregory Vaughn, asked him if he wanted to make some money. The two of them agreed to fabricating a wreck and to submit a claim for payment to the insurance company.
Jackson and Lucas pleaded guilty based on the same set of facts. The two of them submitted altered medical bills to their respective insurance companies. In each case, the claims were flagged as suspicious before they were paid.
The Attorney General emphasizes defendants' presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
The cases were investigated by SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General LaRone Washington.
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