Bainbridge police officer and mother arrested for insurance fraud - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge police officer and mother arrested for insurance fraud

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A Bainbridge police officer is charged with insurance fraud, after an investigation by the State Board of Workers' Compensation reveled that he and his mother are responsible for taking tens of thousands of dollars from local businesses.

That officer and his mother owned a Bainbridge business that provided payroll and insurance services to other local business. Now they're accused of collecting over $22,000 from an Albany business, and using it for their own benefit. It all started when that Albany business requested a workers' compensation certificate for a new job, and they couldn't provide it.

Tracy Classon, owner of Classon Concrete LLC in Albany, is out more than $22,000.

"I never expected it," he said.

Classon paid thousands of dollars in worker's compensation insurance premiums to Southern Companies Staffing Agency in Bainbridge.

"They provided us a payroll service and workers comp insurance," said Classon.

Now the owners of Southern Companies Staffing are charged with pocketing that premium money.

Bainbridge Police investigator Alton Brock, and his mother, Martha Love, the owners of Southern Companies Staffing, are charged with workers compensation insurance fraud.

Classon Concrete was one of nearly a half dozen clients' who paid their company for worker's comp insurance.

But the State Board of Workers Compensation says Southern Companies Staffing kept the premiums paid in from September through December of 2008, totaling more than $30,000.

Southern Companies Staffing's worker's comp insurance policy was cancelled for lack of payment, but investigators say they continued collecting premium payments and keeping the payments for themselves.

"I'm surprised by it all," said Classon.

They're just thankful no employees were injured during the time they weren't covered with worker's comp.

"If someone was hurt on the job, and they were supposed to be covered and weren't, we'd probably be out of business right now," he said.

And with business already down drastically from last year, this is just another blow.

"It's hard enough to stay in business today, this makes it worse," he said.

Alton Brock is suspended without pay from the police department, pending the result of this case.

"He shouldn't be allowed to work there. Honest people should be in our police force," said Classon.

Mr. Classon says when they found out that for months they were not covered by workers comp they immediately had to pay a new premium down to start up another insurance plan. He says with that new premium in addition to the $22,000 already taken by Mr. Brock and Ms. Love, he's lost over $30,000 during this whole scandal.

The Director of the Enforcement Division of the State Board of Workers' Compensation says Southern Companies Staffing Agency provided administrative services for four additional businesses. They're investigating now to see if those companies were also scammed out of thousands of dollars. They anticipate additional charges on the owners as the investigation continues.

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