S.C. Woman Guilty on Numerous Fraud Counts

September 14, 2005

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster announced that Kathy Smith, 51, of Little River, pleaded guilty on Aug. 9, 2005, to two (2) counts of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent (over $5,000), a felony violation of §16-13-230 (B)(3) of the Code of Laws, and punishable to ten (10) years imprisonment (each count), and five (5) counts of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent (between $1,000 and $5,000), a felony violation of §16-13-230 (B)(2) of the Code of Laws, punishable to 5 years imprisonment (each count).

Smith is a former insurance agent who was doing business as the Smith Insurance Agency, located in Loris. During the period January 2001 through June 2003, Smith reportedly accepted premiums from various insureds and failed to remit them to the appropriate insurance companies. Most of the insurance policies involved in this case were auto and homeowner’s policies.

Judge Edward Welmaker, presiding over the General Sessions Court of Horry County, sentenced Smith to 10 years imprisonment, suspended to five years probation, and ordered her to pay over
$42,500 in restitution to the seven insurance companies she defrauded.

The companies and restitution amounts include:

Orion/Royal SunAlliance Co. $17,367.73
Foremost Insurance Company $1,023.30
Florida Select Insurance Co. $2,402.00
Bristol West Insurance Co. $10,923.56
Progressive Insurance Co. $1,553.00
Southern United Insurance Co. $1,769.96
Omni/Hartford Insurance Co. $7,518.00 .

The case was investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

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