COLUMBIA — On Monday, a judge sentenced an Aiken man to 14 days in jail, time served after the man pleaded guilty to insurance fraud of less than $1,000 in Darlington County.
In 2005, Michael D. Wilson Jr., 25, claimed that an oncoming vehicle entered his lane and forced him off the roadway, according to a release from the S.C. Insurance News Service. The organization is a non-lobbying nonprofit funded by insurance companies that operate in South Carolina, according to its Web site.
Wilson then submitted a lost wage claim to Travelers Insurance Co. Investigators said he falsely claimed that he was making $400 per week at the time of the crash, but had instead been making $125 per week. Investigators, which included the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division and Travelers Insurance, also found that the man had been terminated from his job the week before the accident.
The state Attorney General’s Office prosecuted Wilson’s case, which represents the most typical complaint that is handled by the insurance-fraud division.
South Carolina received about 600 complaints along with 213 carried-forward complaints, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s annual report on insurance fraud for 2010.
Nearly $312,000 in fines, restitution and attorneys’ fees were ordered as a result of criminal cases, and nearly $100,000 was ordered for civil cases.
Of the 600 complaints the office received, which totaled a reported $3 million, about half were for automobile insurance fraud, 17 percent were for personal or commercial property, 10 percent were categorized as health or medical-related, 8 percent were for workers’ compensation, 4 percent were for disability benefits, and 3 percent were for life insurance.