Woman, teenager arrested in smartphone insurance scheme
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens confirmed that Fraud Investigators from his office arrested 48-year-old Rita Geddis McKay from Stewart County and a 17-year-old from Muscogee County on Wednesday morning on felony counts connected to a major insurance fraud scheme.
A release from the Georgia Department of Insurance says that the two suspects have been accused of filing several fraudulent insurance claims totaling more than $300,000. They reportedly filed the claims with Asurion Insurance Services for alleged damaged or undelivered smartphones and tablets.
The release says that both suspects have been charged with two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of theft by receiving stolen property.
During the investigation, it was discovered that the suspects used a number of identities to create accounts with Verizon Wireless in order to steal and resell iPads and iPhones between Jan. 2015 and Oct. 2017.
According to the release, they filed 371 fraudulent claims, illegally receiving $331,021.30 in replacement merchandise.
“Many of the claims filed by these individuals allege similar damage or mishaps to their wireless device,” Hudgens said. “Asurion alerted us that there appeared to be a pattern of fraud with these claims, and our investigation revealed that was indeed the case.”
Georgia Fraud Investigators found out that when the suspects activated accounts with Verizon, they add fake or non-working iPhones and iPads to the accounts, start insurance on them through Asurion and then file theft and damage claims for the devices.
The release says that after receiving the claims, Asurion would ship a replacement device, but the suspects would then claim that it was either never delivered or arrived damaged. The suspects did not return the alleged damaged devices as they were required to.
According to investigators in the case, the suspects sold this merchandise on secondary markets.
McKay is currently being held at the Stewart County Jail. The juvenile suspect is in the Muscogee County Jail.
Anyone with any information about this case or any suspicious insurance scheme should call Ralph Hudgens’ office at 1-800-656-2298.