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Based on information introduced on the inaugural meeting on Wednesday, October twenty ninth insurance coverage fraud is a white-collar crime that prices each South Carolinian over the age of 18 almost $1200 yearly.   In direction of to the objective of bettering the identification and prosecution of this staggeringly costly fraud, a brand new advert hoc subcommittee of the Committee for Legislative Oversight was shaped underneath the Chairmanship of native State Consultant Jeff Johnson (R-Horry).  

Insurance coverage Fraud Outlined

By intentionally deceiving the insurance coverage firm, prospects could inflate or “pad” the worth of things reminiscent of house contents, misrepresent the time and nature of harm, and even stage accidents and disasters with a purpose to acquire an unearned, illegitimate, and unlawful monetary reward that may be categorized as a felony, relying on the quantity of the declare. 

State Duty

9 South Carolina companies are concerned in investigating insurance coverage fraud, however the lion’s share of funding to assist establish, prosecute, and ideally deter this white-collar crime, is given to the Division of Insurance coverage and SLED.   Although each companies have been ready to offer standing stories to the legislators, they’d first hear from a citizen harm by their incompetence and/or “selective enforcement of legal guidelines.” And she or he wouldn’t pull punches.  

As a sufferer of alleged insurance coverage fraud herself, Lee Granade uncovered the willful neglect of those companies to analyze a ~ $1.1M arson for insurance coverage scheme in Beaufort County for somebody with ‘highly effective’ connections.  As she named the administrators in attendance who apparently enabled this costly crime upon South Carolina residents, she additionally introduced receipts.  

In what should have been an extremely humbling and excoriating expertise for the newly put in Division of Insurance coverage on the row instantly behind the lectern, Director Michael Smart (left), the Director of Insurance coverage Fraud Investigations Joshua Underwood, in addition to SLED Chief Mark Keel, Lee defined how her case seems to have been achieved with the FULL KNOWLEDGE and PERMISSION of Chief Keel, Director Smart, and Mr. Underwood.  She then supplied the documentation to indicate that she had not alleged something that was not verifiable and factual.  


As beforehand reported (Hilton Head mother crushed by S.C. Household Courtroom System MyrtleBeachSC Information), the heartbreaking, unfathomable judgments in Lee’s Beaufort County Household Courtroom instances that left her primarily homeless with restricted entry to her kids together with a looming risk of incarceration (concerning the charges of Guardian advert litem, Katherine G. Ferguson, Esq), have been all set in movement by Decide Mindy Zimmerman.  Although abolished years in the past and banned by our state and federal constitutions, the specter of a ‘debtor’s jail’ is actual and utilized routinely in SC household courts; see our article on the ‘honorable’ Mandy Kimmons imposing this lately with a bit assist from her pal, Decide Holly Wall:  Mom jailed for unpaid authorized charges to former S.C. Consultant, then Lawyer, now Decide MyrtleBeachSC Information

In Lee’s household court docket instances, she was suggested (in recorded conversations) that her 2019 verdict was predetermined by way of her ex-husband’s USC Legislation connections relationship again to the Nineteen Seventies, i.e, the Murdaughs and his “good pals” reminiscent of Robert Achurch, Esq., Beaufort County legal professional.  To the pure shock of these in attendance at Wednesday’s assembly, Lee detailed her ex-husband’s obvious scheme to deliberately set hearth to their house, take 100% of the insurance coverage proceeds (presumably to recuperate financially from the authorized charges and/or payoffs he owed), and all this could be condoned by Chief Keel and the opposite administrators in attendance.  Lee has even been underneath a ‘stop and desist’ order from Keel’s Normal Counsel Whitesett as a result of she requested for updates within the investigation she was statutorily entitled – and the Committee heard her loud and clear. 

What makes mothers like Lee a formidable foe for these tempted to linger within the fountain of public corruption is that they often have copious information having been by means of the wringer in household courts.  We now have obtained a duplicate of the handouts that Lee supplied the Committee; and it’s a damning case report of all that’s fallacious with the Palmetto State

Lee has been denied an arson investigation AND an insurance coverage fraud investigation regardless of statements from a md of the Worldwide Affiliation of Arson Investigators (IAAI) declaring that every one out there proof strongly implicates Robert Jimenez (Lee’s ex-spouse) because the originator of the fireplace.  She additionally supplied an affidavit of a Licensed Public Accountant/Licensed Fraud Examiner (CPA/CFE), which acknowledged unequivocally that Jimenez had engaged in mail/wire fraud, insurance coverage fraud, and sure forgery as effectively.  

Maybe most gut-wrenching in her testimony was Lee’s account of her subpoenaing the native pet shelter (on a tip) as a result of she knew that her daughter was distraught over the lack of her cat who she believed had perished in the home hearth.  The subpoena outcomes indicated that her ex-husband had surrendered their daughter’s cat simply hours after he had despatched her away for the weekend on Friday, January 17, 2020; she would return Sunday night to flames and flashing lights.  It’s rumored that Lee’s daughter’s cat was not preferred by Jimenez’s new spouse’s cat (who made it out of the fireplace unscathed). Not solely are these particulars in her handouts, however SLED has had this info for almost a 12 months.  For a home hearth that broken three houses, on a waterfront peninsula, in Moss Creek Plantation in Hilton Head, that just about killed their then 11-year-old son who had been left alone by his father and his present spouse.    

There’ll undoubtedly be far more to unfold in Lee’s quest to carry SLED, Chief Keel, and others accountable – with receipts.  Watch Lee’s full testimony right here that begins at roughly 3 minutes into the assembly:  https://www.scstatehouse.gov/video/archives.php?key=13497&half=1