Seven Macon residents face felony insurance fraud charges in connection with an allegedly staged crash between a U-Haul and a BMW in 2013.
Kokeythia B. Glover, 23, rented a U-Haul truck on Sept. 5, 2013, and paid for the additional accident insurance policy offered through U-Haul’s insurance company, Repwest, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office.
Just before midnight, the U-Haul driven by Glover collided with a 1998 BMW 325i owned and driven by 41-year-old Stephanie James at the intersection of Birch and Patterson streets near Montpelier Avenue, Allen said.
James filed an insurance claim for damage to her car. She and her passengers -- 29-year-old Marcus Pertillo, 26-year-old Kentaurus Taylor and Taylor’s uncle 56-year-old Bernard Taylor -- also hired a lawyer pursuing claims for injuries received in the crash, he said.
Erion Phillips, 22, and Alicia Bell, 43, passengers in the U-Haul, also filed claims for injuries and medical bills, Allen said.
Repwest and State Farm Insurance, the carrier insuring the BMW, paid out more than $8,000, he said.
The insurance companies turned over results of their claim investigations into the Insurance Commissioner’s Office Oct. 30, 2014, spurring a state investigation that resulted in the criminal charges.
Each of the seven people is charged with insurance fraud, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, Allen said.
The two drivers, Glover and James, additionally face charges of filing a false report, he said.
All seven have turned themselves in at the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
Glover and Phillips were released Monday on $4,250 and $3,720 bonds, respectively. James and Bell were released Tuesday on $11,200 and $2,400 bonds, according to jail records.
The Taylors, who live on Patterson Street, each are being held on a $4,050 bond. Pertillo was being held without bond, according to jail records.
Anyone with information about the case or other fraud is asked to call the Georgia Department of Insurance’s consumer hotline at 800-656-2298.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.