December 12, 2018

Former Mayor indicted on insurance fraud charges

(Franklin, GA) — Former Franklin Mayor and local insurance agent Michael Brad Yates has been indicted by a grand jury in Heard County Superior Court on 30 counts of Insurance Fraud and one count of false statements.

The counts were handed down by the grand jury on Monday, Sept 17, 2018. Included in the indictment are 30 counts of Insurance Fraud (O.C.G.A. 33-1-9) and one count of Making a False Statement (O.C.G.A. 16-10-20).

The first 23 counts of Insurance Fraud allege that Yates did knowingly and did willfully issued fake certificates of insurance purporting contractors as having workers compensation insurance coverage.

Counts 23-29 on the indictment allege that Yates did knowingly and willfully receive monies from individuals/contractors for the purpose of purchasing insurance and converted said money to his own benefit, contrary to state law.

All of the charges of insurance fraud are alleged to have taken place between 2016-2017.

The final count on the indictment of Making False Statements alleges that Yates did knowingly and willfully make a false and fraudulent statement and representation to state investigators on October 12, 2017 by denying he had produced any other certificate of insurance related to the workers compensation coverage for one of the contractors.

Michael Brad Yates

Yates was arrested on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. He is the owner of the Yates Insurance Services located at 1778 Franklin Parkway.

It was an investigation conducted by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division that led to the arrest.

According to the press release issued by Enforcement Division Director Stan Bexley following the arrest, the initial results of the investigation allege that Yates fraudulently took premium dollars for workers’ compensation insurance policies that were never issued and instead issued his clients bogus certificates of insurance as proof that they had workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

“Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation it has been determined that one false certificate created by Yates has cost a general contractor over $30,000.00 in additional premiums. In an attempt to conceal the fraud from investigators, Yates submitted a client’s application and premium to the insurance company several months after the client had already paid Yates for the insurance coverage,” stated the press release.

Yates, the Mayor of Franklin from 2006-2009, was released from the Heard County jail on $165,000 bond Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

The next step in court proceedings for the case will be an arraignment in Heard County Superior Court next month.

The offense of insurance fraud is considered a felony, and a conviction could land an individual in prison for up to 10 years. Additionally, a fine of up to $10,000 may be levied against the convicted individual, and he or she may be required to pay restitution.

The punishment for a felony charge of speaking or writing a false statement involving a government agency is a mandatory minimum of one to five years in prison, or a fine of $1,000, or both.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further details and information as it becomes available.

Comments

  1. Lanora kidd says:

    Any updates?

  2. Lanora kidd says:

    Any new updates on Brad Yates?

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