A former Metter insurance agent was jailed Tuesday on charges of insurance fraud.
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division Director Stan Bexley said that Thelga Mahalia Nelson, of Maxie Circle in Metter, was arrested and taken to the Candler County Jail, charged with four counts of felony insurance fraud.
Nelson, 52, who was a licensed insurance agent, is the former owner of Quality Insurance Agency, he said.
Bexley said that Nelson sold customers fake workers’ compensation insurance coverage and “pocketed the premiums,” then issued clients false certificates of insurance as proof of coverage.
“It is suspected Nelson has fraudulently obtained thousands of dollars in workers’ compensation premiums from the victims,” he said.
One false certificate she created is believed to have cost a general contractor more than $34,000 in additional premiums.
The case is still being investigated by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.
“Additional charges are anticipated in the near future,” Bexley said.
Business owners, “particularly logging truck operations,” in Metter, Statesboro, Swainsboro and surrounding areas who may have received a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance from Nelson or her business are asked to contact the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division at (404) 657-7285 or (800) 533-0682.
Bexley encouraged anyone who gets a certificate of workers’ compensation to verify it by either by using the state board’s website (www.sbwc.georgia.gov) or by contacting the insurance company directly. All insurance policies should be verified by the company, he said.
Nelson is being held on a $50,000 cash bond or $100,000 property bond, according to Candler County sheriff’s Investigator Justin Wells.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.