Jim Beck, who won the state insurance commissioner’s race last November amid allegations of suspected wrongdoing, faces a 38-count federal indictment alleging wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia posted a multipage document on Tuesday, alleging crimes from between February 2013 and June 2018.
According to the opening paragraphs of the statement:
“Beginning in or about February 2013 through in or about June 2018, in the Northern District of Georgia and elsewhere, the defendant, Jim C. Beck, did knowingly devise and intend to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the Georgia Underwriting Association, and to obtain money and property from that entity by means of a materially false and fraudulent pretense, representation, and promise, as well as by an omission of material facts, well knowing and having reason to know that said pretense, representation, and promise was and would be false and fraudulent when made and caused to be made and that said omission was and would be material.”
For a page-by-page look at the indictment, please click here.
Media release: Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim C. Beck has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The 38-count indictment alleges that Beck stole more than $2,000,000 from his former employer, the Georgia Underwriting Association, during the five years just prior to Beck’s election to statewide office in November, 2018.
“The grand jury seeks to hold Commissioner Beck accountable for taking advantage of his position at the Georgia Underwriting Association. Beck allegedly pocketed a substantial amount of money to which he was not entitled while he was the GUA General Manager for Operations,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “To be clear, the grand jury has charged Commissioner Beck with crimes that occurred before he was elected to his current public office.”
“The FBI investigation found that Beck abused the trust of friends and his employer (GUA), in an elaborate scheme to enrich himself at GUA’s expense,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The indictment is a testament to the fact that the FBI will expend all resources necessary to hold those who seek to enrich themselves through fraud and deceit, accountable for their actions.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak and the indictment: From January 2012 until Beck was sworn in as Insurance Commissioner on January 14, 2019, Beck worked as the General Manager of Operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association (GUA) after being elected to that post by the GUA board of directors. GUA, located in Suwanee, Georgia, is an insurance association created as part of the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) law to provide high-risk property insurance to homeowners located throughout Georgia. In addition to premiums collected from its customers, GUA is also funded by issuing assessments to the association members, which include every insurer authorized to write any form of property insurance in the State of Georgia.
While Beck served as General Manager at GUA, he also maintained controlling financial interests in two businesses known as Creative Consultants and the Georgia Christian Coalition. Beginning in 2013, Beck allegedly talked four associates into forming four separate businesses which supposedly supplied necessary services including residential property inspections and water damage mitigation to GUA. These new businesses are identified in the indictment as Companies A, B, C, and D.
Then, through an elaborate system of fraudulent invoicing which included producing false documentation and concealing the truth from his four associates, Beck regularly approved substantial GUA payments to the four new companies. Beck then allegedly sent fraudulent invoices from Creative Consultants and the GA Christian Coalition to Companies A, B, C, and D. At Beck’s direction, his four associates paid the fraudulent invoices from a portion of the money they had been paid by GUA. All told, between February 2013 and August 2018, Beck defrauded GUA out of more than $2,000,000.
Jim C. Beck, 57, of Carrollton, Georgia, was indicted on May 14, 2019. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
U.S. Attorney Pak and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Alan Gray, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section, are prosecuting the case.
From Beck’s bio page on the insurance commissioner’s website:
Jim Beck was elected as Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner in 2018. In addition to being Insurance Commissioner, Beck is also the Safety Fire Commissioner and Industrial Loan Commissioner. His duties include regulating approximately 1,600 insurance companies, licensing 137,000 insurance agents, and regulating over 1,000 industrial loan offices. As Safety Fire Commissioner, Beck appoints the State Fire Marshal, oversees the state arson unit, regulates explosive and hazardous materials, and is responsible for the inspection of public buildings for compliance with the state fire code.
Commissioner Beck and his wife Lucy reside in Carrollton; they have one son, Jimmy Beck Jr. Commissioner Beck graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing. His insurance experience is comprehensive and multi-faceted. Commissioner Beck’s background includes working in an independent insurance agency, as well as, serving for twelve years in the area of public affairs for a Fortune 150 property and casualty insurance company. During his public service, he served as Deputy Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner for the State of Georgia and most recently, Chief of Staff for Insurance Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens. Most recently, he led an operation that provides property insurance to those who are locked out of the open market.
Commissioner Beck is also a nationally known speaker who has addressed diverse groups ranging in size from ten to 4,000. With over 30 years as a professional presenter and coach in the field of organizational leadership, Commissioner Beck has led sessions for a host of government and non-government clients. His work includes appearances on Fox, ABC and CNN. He serves as a guest editor for STAND UP GEORGIA, one of the top political news aggregates in the state, which shares information to help empower and embolden grassroots conservatism in the Peach State.
In addition to speaking engagements across the country, Commissioner Beck has always been very active in his own community. He has served the Haralson County Sheriff’s Department by creating the agency’s first Crime Prevention Unit. He was appointed by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners to serve on the board of Carroll County Department of Family and Children’s Services. He is a former Vice President of the Carrollton Jaycees. For 30 years, Commissioner Beck has been a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church, where he is a deacon. At Tabernacle, Commissioner Beck and his wife, Lucy, have taught classes for newlyweds.