A former Allstate adjuster and her brother were arrested this week for allegedly bilking more than $79,000 from her employer.
Arleatha Martin and Christopher Lorenzo Battle were each charged with seven counts of insurance fraud, seven counts of theft by deception and three counts of identity fraud, according to a release from the Georgia Insurance Department.
The arrests are the result of a long-term investigation conducted by the department’s fraud division. Investigators discovered that between 2011 and 2012, Martin used her position as a claim adjuster and supervisor to construct fraudulent accident claims in her brother’s name.
In one filing, Martin even added the identities of three of Battle’s children to a claim involving a bus accident that resulted in a settlement payment of $6,375.00. The payment was meant as compensation for Battle’s children’s injuries, yet fraud investigators discovered the children were neither on the bus nor involved in the accident at all.
Together, Martin and Battle settled payments through Allstate reaching $79,538.71. Martin would direct the payments to Battle’s heating and air business – Mechanical Energy Solution – and then the siblings would split the proceeds.
Allstate first missed the money in late 2013 during a routine audit. The carrier reported the fraud to the insurance department.
If convicted, the siblings could face two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In Georgia, insurance fraud is a felony.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens celebrated the arrest as beneficial for the insurance community and consumers in the state.
“Insurance fraud ultimately hurts the Georgia consumer, who ends up paying higher premiums to cover losses from fraud,” Hudgens said. “My office will continue to aggressively pursue all types of insurance fraud.”