Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King's office announced on Thursday that it has uncovered a food poisoning fraud ring made up of at least 10 people, including two from Gwinnett, who allegedly tricked insurance companies into paying out thousands of dollars.
One man, Christian Walls, 28, was arrested by Gwinnett sheriff's deputies on March 17, but the other people accused of being part of the ring remain at large. The other alleged ring member who is listed as being from Gwinnett was identified as Bradley Bland, 27.
Bland and Walls each face one count of insurance fraud and one count of forgery. Walls is in jail on a $22,400 bond.
“This elaborate and carefully orchestrated ring stole nearly $25,000 from Georgia insurance companies," King said. "These types of schemes have proven to lead to higher insurance rates for every family in our state.”
State officials said the ring was discovered when an investigation into two of its alleged members was launched. The members are accused of filing complaints, citing food allergies, at local restaurants in six counties to defraud insurance companies.
The ring members would allegedly claim to have ordered chicken dishes, but found shrimp in them and had allergic reaction as a result.
"They would then file false insurance claims and submit false medical records and medical billing statements to obtain money from insurance companies for medical treatment that was not sought," state officials said in a statement.
"The medical records and medical billing statements were allegedly falsified and altered to reflect the name of the suspects, their date of birth, and multiple different medical facilities."
The other members of the ring, who are still being sought along with Bland, are:
Kevion Young - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
David Lilly - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Alicia Nelson - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Demond Hewlett - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Ricardo Hamlin - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Mikayla Flonnoy - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Jillian Anderson - 1 count insurance fraud
Terrance Bradshaw - 1 count insurance fraud; 1 count forgery
Anyone who has information on where the other members are the ring are located is asked to call the Insurance Commissioner Office's Criminal Investigations Division at 404-463-6363.