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Candler couple charged with insurance fraud after house fire

An elderly Candler County couple turned themselves in last week after warrants were issued for their arrest on insurance fraud charges.

Earl Lynn Driggers, 85, and Julia Ann Driggers, 62, are suspected to have misrepresented the value of items allegedly lost in a suspicious house fire Jan. 25 near Cobbtown, according to Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King.

After a five-month probe, fire investigators and Candler County sheriff's investigators issued warrants for the pair on July 1. According to the warrants, the couple "unlawfully made fraudulent representations of fact in the filing of an insurance claim related to a fire that destroyed their home at 1918 Hwy. 129 near Cobbtown January 26, 2020," a statement from King's office read. "The filing claimed the couple had lost $114,902 worth of personal property in the fire." 

The cause of the fire itself is still under investigation, King said.

Both Earl and Julia Driggers turned themselves in to the Candler County Sheriff's Office and were released on "their own recognizance," with no monetary bond, according to jail records.

Insurance fraud is one reason insurance costs are not lower, King said. 

"These two individuals are accused of attempting to steal money from their insurance company through deception, which in turn drives insurance rates up for all Georgians," he said.

Anyone with information about this case or any other insurance fraud is asked to contact the fire investigation unit for King's office at (800) 282-5804.  The Candler County Sheriff's Office may be reached at (912) 685-2568.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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