Insurance fraud victims warn other guardians - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

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Insurance fraud victims warn other guardians

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April 13, 2007

Albany -- More South Georgians now say their family members are victims of insurance fraud after the arrest of two agents Thursday. Investigators told us that the Cook County insurance agents signed up elderly people, even a dead man, to forged insurance policies. Now we found out they may also have targeted the disabled.

Thursday we showed you Cook County Deputies and insurance investigators raiding the homes of 35 year-olds Shannon Vick and Cecil Ade in Adel. They're accused of forging insurance policies to collect extra commission checks.

 In Albany, Chuck and Debi Hilley saw the story on WALB News Ten, and immediately recognized Vick's name from an insurance policy his mentally challenged sister had wrongly been signed to. Chuck Hilley said "we got home and found the contract, which we had kept, and it's got the gentleman's name that was arrested yesterday."

In January Hilley discovered his sister Traci, who has Downs Syndrome, had been signed up for a Wellcare Insurance Medicare D plan without his knowledge. The policy is dated November 15, and is signed by Shannon Vick. The home director told Hilley that the agent had his sister's and the other three residents personal information, so she thought it was authorized by ARC.

Hilley said "that leads me to believe that somebody is giving out information that is confidential, that they have no business giving out."

Albany ARC Director Annette Bowling says she learned today that Cecil Ade was the person who showed up at the care home in November, claiming to have been sent by ARC. Bowling said they are now checking all their clients' insurance forms, and warning their contractors about this fraud.

The Hilley's came forward, because they want other guardians to know about these fraud cases, and urge South Georgians to make sure they are not unwitting victims.

Chuck has strong feelings about criminals who prey on the elderly or mentally handicapped. Hilley said "folks that take advantage of people that are in unfortunate situations, I want them put down. I don't care how far it goes, I want them put down."

 Both Vick and Ade were released on 25-hundred dollars bond from the Dougherty County jail today. If convicted, they could face 2 to 10 years in prison and a ten thousand dollar fine for each count of insurance fraud.

They are currently charged with nine counts, but Investigators say they could face more if more victims come forward.

 Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine asks you to call his office if you think you or a family member could be a victim of this insurance scam. You can call his office at 404-656-2115.

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