ATLANTA — Two men have been arrested after allegedly creating an elaborate insurance scam that totaled up to $120 million in fraudulent insurance claims, according to the Georgia Office of Insurance.
Officials said the men were responsible for creating fake certificates of insurance, declaring that large groups of agricultural workers were insured while employed as temporary office staffers.
Wesley Bernard Owens, of Suwanee, Georgia, was the reported CEO of Bison Workforce Solutions and Bison Data systems in Gwinnett County. But the insurance business was reportedly a fake that investigators said became the source for hundreds of false insurance claims - stretching all the way across the nation.
Investigators said the scheme collapsed when injury claims by these "insured" agricultural workers started coming into California. But the claims were not paid because there was never insurance on the workers to begin with.
Police had been searching for anyone involved in the false insurance claims since May of 2017. After two years of searching, Owens was found and charged with 18 crimes total, the most being six counts of Insurance fraud, and six counts of ID fraud.
Authorities said his alleged partner in crime, Beau Eric Wilson, from Gainesville, Georgia, assisted in creating these fake insurance certificates. Wilson is accused of more crimes than Owens, totaling 29 charges, including 13 counts of felony theft.
Others are said to be involved in this scam as well. Police attempted to serve an arrest warrant to Ronda Nicole Taylor, 48, of Stone Mountain Thursday morning for 21 outstanding warrants that she reportedly accrued from being involved in this insurance scheme. Taylor was not home when police arrived. A fourth, unnamed suspect has also been arrested in Florida for his alleged attachment to this insurance hoax.
Insurance fraud is a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years, or a fine of up to $10,000, sometimes both. Several police departments and insurance groups are working together to find the rest of the individuals involved.
To report suspected fraud, call the Georgia Department of Insurance Fraud Unit at 404-232-1212.