Ohio Department of Insurance Director Mary Jo Hudson has announced that Huey Granderson of Millersport, Ohio has pled guilty on three counts stemming from his involvement in a Fairfield County insurance fraud ring. Granderson was the alleged ring leader of a group that stole more than $5 million from companies in multiple counties.
In the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Granderson pled guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft and failure to file an income tax return, all felonies. As part of the plea agreement, the other 14 charges were dropped. Granderson will be sentenced at a later date. He could face up to 19 years in jail and be ordered to pay a monetary fine.
The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office began its part of the investigation in July of 2007 when it executed a search warrant and recovered numerous pieces of allegedly stolen equipment on land owned by Granderson.
The Department soon took the lead in investigating more than 15 real estate purchases, 15 motor vehicle purchases and six insurance claims that ring members allegedly participated in since January of 2006. The Grand Jury found that these real estate and vehicle purchases allegedly involved fraud in which the buyers grossly inflated their incomes and submitted bogus federal income tax returns and W-2 forms. The defendants would then allegedly make no payments on the mortgages while renting out the properties and keeping the money. They also allegedly did not make payments on the vehicles and would switch them between ring members so the finance companies were unable to locate the vehicles to repossess them.
Ring members also allegedly continued to steal construction equipment by renting and keeping the equipment, or by simply stealing it from job sites. Investigators have so far recovered dozens of pieces of stolen construction equipment and stolen vehicles.
Ohioans who believe an individual is committing fraud or misconduct should call the Department’s Fraud hotline, 1-800-686-1527. Information about insurance fraud and misconduct can be found on the Department’s Web site, www.insurance.ohio.gov.
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