FROM STAFF REPORTS
Sumter residents Tykeem Ra Hsan Jomal Sumpter, 23, Raekwon Rasheen Reyes Owens, 22, and Khalil Jabraun Hilton, 19, entered guilty pleas on Aug. 9 on insurance fraud charges according to a news release from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
Sumpter pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation Between $1,000-$10,000; Owens pleaded guilty to one count of Presenting a False Claim for Payment Between $2,000-$10,000 and one count of Resisting Arrest; and Hilton pleaded guilty to one count of Making a False Statement or Misrepresentation Less than $2,000.
Judge George M. McFaddin Jr. accepted the pleas and sentenced Sumpter and Owens to prison on their charges suspended to probation. As a special condition of probation, Sumpter and Owens are ordered to pay $500 of restitution to USAA and $828.21 of restitution to GEICO, respectively. McFaddin sentenced Hilton to a $100 fine.
"Insurance fraud may seem like a victimless crime to some because big insurance companies can afford to pay out the money, but it raises insurance rates for all of us," Wilson said in the release. "Some of these staged accidents can also put others in danger. We'll continue to investigate and prosecute anyone who commits this crime."
The incident with Sumpter began when he presented a fraudulent claim to USAA Insurance Co. for bodily injury. Sumpter sent USAA a bill from Palmetto Health Tuomey for a time when he was never seen there and used an invalid account number. Five hundred dollars was paid out to Sumpter before the insurance company realized the claim was fraudulent.
The fraud incident with Owens occurred after the defendant was in a staged car accident on June 6, 2017. Owens presented a fraudulent claim to GEICO for bodily injury using hospital bills in the amount of $4,087. GEICO sent Owens $828.21 before the company realized the claim was fraudulent. The claims were flagged due to the bills being altered. Special Agent Joe Neff attempted to serve Owens with warrants from the incident in March. Owens fled, but Neff was able to arrest him after a brief struggle.
The incident with Hilton began on April 28, 2017, with a vehicle collision on Plowden Mill Road. Hilton solicited a co-defendant to go to the hospital and pose as Hilton. Hilton made a claim to GEICO for $8,376.50 for the medical bills. Because the claim was flagged early, the amount was never paid to Hilton.
The Attorney General's release states that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The case was investigated by SLED and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General LaRone Washington.
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