Clark Fain III target of criminal investigation -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Clark Fain III target of criminal investigation

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

DONALSONVILLE,  GA (WALB) – Southeastern U.S. Insurance company owner Clark Fain III is now the target of a criminal investigation. That announcement came Tuesday from the Insurance Commissioner's Fraud Unit.

Fain's belongings were auctioned in Seminole County last week to try to cover the more than $20 million in worker's compensation claims his company was supposed to pay.

The auctioned generated about $1 million. Southeastern U.S. was the worker's comp provider for hundreds of businesses, towns and school boards in Georgia. Fain's business dealings came to light after he loaned himself ten million dollars out of the company.

His company has been shut down by the state. So far, no criminal charges have been filed against him or his officers.


Statement on Behalf of M. Clark Fain III Regarding Land Purchase  Filed With Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine's Office 

Jan. 20, 2010 - Recent reports in the media have inaccurately characterized the business and real estate dealings of M. Clark Fain III, while he was CEO of Southeastern U.S. Insurance Co. (SEUS). It is important to clarify the land transaction in which the Georgia Insurance Commissioner alleges Mr. Fain had improperly taken out a $10.2 million loan from SEUS.

From 2002 to 2008, investment was made in eight parcels of agricultural, timber and recreational land in Seminole and Miller counties that ultimately totaled more than 2,600 acres spread out over 15 miles. The land investments, costing approximately $8.7 million including improvements, were purchased by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEUS, solely owned by Mr. Fain. In 2008, the parcels were appraised at $10.2 million. Mr. Fain, as advised by his statutory accountant and legal counsel, personally purchased the real estate for its appraised value, financed by SEUS through a mortgage note secured by the purchased real estate, and another $1.4 million in pledged assets of Mr. Fain. The purpose of this transaction was to provide needed liquidity and additional capital to SEUS. Under the terms of the note Mr. Fain was obligated to repay the $10.2 million plus interest at market rates.

On Nov. 13, 2008 Mr. Fain's lawyers and financial advisers filed the required paperwork (Form D) with the Georgia Department of Insurance to notify it of the real estate transaction. According to state law, if the Department of Insurance made no finding after 30 days, this transaction was deemed approved by the department. When the Department of Insurance raised verbal objections after the required 30-day period, Mr. Fain met repeatedly with the department (including Commissioner Oxendine) seeking resolution to the matter. Mr. Fain has never been notified in writing of the department's disapproval of the transaction. Still, Mr. Fain ultimately volunteered to undo the transaction, a solution the department accepted in August 2009.

"I worked more than 20 years to build SEUS into a viable insurance company that covered thousands of Georgians over that time," Fain said. "I relied on a team of industry professional advisors and did what I believed I needed to do to save the company.  There was no fraud, either intended or committed."

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