COLUMBIA, S.C. – February 22, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Arthur Rochester Goodman, 29, of Sumter, South Carolina, entered a plea of guilty on January 17, 2019 on an insurance fraud charge. Goodman pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment $2,000-$10,000 and one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Greater than $10,000.
The Honorable Kristi F. Curtis accepted the plea and sentenced Goodman to two years in prison on his charges. Judge Curtis also sentenced Mr. Goodman on a Burglary Third Degree charge. He received a two-year sentence for the Burglary charge, and this sentence runs concurrent with the insurance fraud charges.
“Insurance fraud is a serious crime that raises rates for all of us,” said Attorney General Wilson. “This prison sentence should be a deterrent to anyone who thinks he can get easy money by staging a fake accident. That fraud will be discovered and you will be prosecuted,” said Attorney General Wilson.
The first incident took place on April 5, 2017. There was a motor vehicle collision at Kings Pointe Drive in Sumter County. After the accident, Mr. Goodman was transported by EMS to Palmetto Health Tuomey for his alleged injuries. When he left the hospital, he made an insurance claim to ACCC Insurance by submitting bills and paperwork from Tuomey. This claim was flagged as suspicious.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was brought in to do an investigation. A passenger in the accident admitted to the SLED agent that she was allegedly told by Gregory Vaughn that they planned the accident to get some money. Also, the agent’s review of the documents submitted to ACCC showed that they were not legitimate. One bill had been altered to add an extra CT body scan. A second bill was fabricated altogether. It also had the address that had been used in other fraudulent claims.
The second incident took place on June 19, 2017. Mr. Goodman claimed he was involved in another car accident with an alleged unknown vehicle on Interstate 20 in Sumter. Mr. Goodman alleged to have injuries resulting from the collision and submitted his medicals for payment to USAA Insurance in the amount of over $18,000. The insurance company paid out some money, and the Defendant cashed the checks.
This claim was flagged and investigated by SLED. The SLED agent reviewed the medical bills submitted to the insurance company. His review showed that, while the bill submitted was legitimate, the bill was from a previous date than the time Goodman claimed. Furthermore, SLED’s investigation revealed that the accident was staged.
The Attorney General emphasizes defendants’ presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
The cases were investigated by SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General LaRone Washington and Savanna Goude.
To report suspected insurance fraud, call the Insurance Fraud Hotline at (888) 95-FRAUD (888-953-7283). Callers can remain anonymous.
For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.