Former Franklin Co. Insurance Agent Arrested for Insurance Fraud

A former Franklin County insurance agent faces insurance fraud and other charges after a state investigation.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced the arrest of 34-year-old James Travis Williams on Tuesday.

Williams is the former owner and operator of Tri-County Insurance Agency in Royston.

Hudgens’ office says Williams was charged with 15 counts of insurance fraud and two counts of forgery for allegedly taking premium payments from policyholders and converting the money to his own use.

Commissioner Hudgens says that the investigation shows that Williams allegedly collected approximately $30,000 in premium payments on a variety of insurance products and never forwarded those premiums to the appropriate insurance companies for coverage.

According to the Insurance Commissioner, Williams’ license to sell insurance in Georgia was relinquished in October of 2013 when he signed a consent order agreeing to voluntarily surrender his agent’s license as the result of an ongoing investigation by Hudgens’ Fraud Unit.

Hudgens says his office will not tolerate any insurance agent stealing from his or her customer.

He adds such actions constitute a violation of a trust between an agent and policyholder and his office takes that violation very seriously.

Commissioner Hudgens urges citizens who may have conducted insurance transactions with Williams or Tri-County Insurance Agency to contact their insurance company to verify their coverage.

Consumers can also contact Hudgens’ Office at 1-800-656-2298. Calls are taken from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

As for Williams, he was booked into the Franklin County Jail.

No bond had been set at last report.

If Williams is convicted, Hudgens says insurance fraud is a felony with a penalty of two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.