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EX-Insurance Commissioner Sentenced


After being convicted earlier this year of swindling his employer out of $2 million, former Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck was sentenced to seven years and three months in a federal prison by U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen. Once he leaves prison, Beck is required to serve three years of supervised release. During the sentencing, Judge Cohen blasted Beck, saying he had betrayed people close to him and then repeatedly lied on the witness stand. “The testimony was outrageous,” Cohen said. “It was as if he was making it up as he went along.” Judge Cohen also ordered Beck to pay $2.6 million in restitution.

During his trial, Prosecutors accused Beck of lying to friends and family members to get them to create companies to send fake invoices to the Georgia Underwriting Association, the state-created insurer for high-risk customers who have had trouble buying coverage. Beck was employed with the company as the general manager  when he asked them to submit invoices for work that was not actually done. During his trial, Beck took the witness stand and insisted he had committed no scam, while shifting blame to a man named Jerry Jordan. Some say the mystery man who Beck blamed may not have even existed as no one, including Beck, could find Jordan.

Under his scheme, Beck funneled the money back to himself and used the stolen funds to pay credit card bills, taxes, and to finance his 2018 campaign for insurance commissioner. Beck had only been in office for four months when the U.S. attorney’s office in early May 2019 announced a 38-count formal accusation charging him with fraud and money laundering. A federal grand jury later added an additional count of mail fraud and four new counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns for the 2014 through 2017 tax years.

After Beck was indicted, he refused to resign. Instead, he asked fellow republican, Gov. Brian Kemp to suspend him, which allowed Beck to continue collecting his salary and benefits from the state to the tune of about $200,000, as reported by the AJC.

Seeing this flaw in the system, lawmakers acted quickly and approved a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate pay for state officials suspended from office while facing felony indictments. The proposal is on the ballot for 2022.

In addition to serving as the former Georgia Insurance Commissioner, Beck was once the head of the Georgia Christian Coalition.


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