Arrest warrants issued for Macon shop owner, insurance adjuster in alleged fraud case

awomack@macon.comJuly 15, 2014 

Fake insurance claims filed on policyholders’ accounts have prompted arrest warrants for the owner of Macon auto repair shop and a claims adjuster, authorities said.

William Emerson Scruggs, 53, owner of Diamond Auto Painting on Broadway, and former Nationwide Insurance Co. claims adjuster Patrick Renaldo Dixon, 41, schemed to generate about $12,000 in fake repair claims in the names of Nationwide policyholders in 2010 and 2011, said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the state insurance commissioner’s office.

The duo also filed fake supplemental claims that followed legitimate filings, Allen said.

Once the phony claims were submitted, checks were issued to Diamond Auto Painting. When the checks were cashed, Scruggs and Dixon split the money, he said.

Dixon and Scruggs each have been charged with 23 counts of insurance fraud and 23 counts of forgery, Allen said.

Attempts to reach Scruggs for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The fraud was discovered when a Nationwide policyholder contacted her agent after receiving a notice of a premium increase. Allen said 23 policyholders were affected, and each has “been made whole.”

Nationwide’s corporate headquarters released its own statement about the investigation.

“Nationwide is fully aware of this case,” the statement read. “However, privacy prohibits us from commenting on any pending investigations. We consider the allegations to be very serious. Nationwide continues to cooperate with the authorities.”

Dixon was hired by State Farm Insurance after resigning from Nationwide. He has since been suspended from State Farm, Allen said.

Writer Phillip Ramati contributed to this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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