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Local man arrested on insurance fraud charges
Bulloch County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Dinello leads John W. King to a waiting patrol car Wednesday after King was arrested on insurance fraud charges. Also shown (third from left) are Georgia State Insurance Office Special Agent Kirk Quarterman and state Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine. - photo by HOLLI DEAL BRAGG/staff
    Hair tousled and apparently not long from being awakened, a man who works as an insurance agent in Metter appeared surprised early Wednesday when a Bulloch County Sheriff's deputy knocked on his door.
    Deputy Bob Dinello, who accompanied Georgia Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine and investigators from his office, arrested John W. King, 28, Canterbury Court, on insurance fraud charges around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
    Oxendine said King worked with Metter insurance firm Parker and Associates. The business was not listed in a local telephone book nor through information services.
    King was charged with two counts of insurance fraud because he "allegedly forged the signatures of two elderly Columbus, Ga. residents on applications for Medicare Advantage policies," Oxendine said.
    Insurance agents receive commissions from the government when a client signs up for certain Medicare programs, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for Oxendine's office.
    "My office is constantly on the lookout for agents to attempt to abuse the public's trust," Oxendine said.
    King was transported to the Bulloch County Jail, where he faces further court action.
    Oxendine offered warnings to residents t be cautious and attentive regarding their personal business, and suggested they "be wary when contacted about switching to a Medicare Advantage plan."
    Citizens should be suspicious of door-to-door sales people, "because insurance agents cannot solicit business at  your home without an appointment," he said.
    Also, he recommends checking with the state insurance department to confirm the sales person is legitimate and a licensed agent. Never give out personal information, including your Social Security numbers, bank account numbers of credit card numbers to anyone you have not identified as a licensed agent, and always verify that the plan you choose is an approved Medicare plan, he said.
    Information about all approved plans can be found on Web site or by calling 1-800-633-4227.
    Anyone who feels they may have been a victim of insurance fraud can report the incident to the Georgia Insurance Offices Consumer Services Division at 1-800-656-2298.
    Other insurance issues may be addresses by contacting Oxendine's office at or by calling (404) 651-7902.

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