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Press Release

Defendant Sentenced For Fraud By Wire

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that John Dewey Morris, 70, of Coolidge, Georgia, was sentenced on Monday, October 28, 2013, by Senior United States District Judge Hugh Lawson, in Valdosta, Georgia, for wire fraud.  Judge Lawson sentenced Mr. Morris to five (5) years probation and ordered him to pay $131,443.00 in total restitution to Progressive Insurance and Auto Owners Insurance.
Mr. Morris entered a plea of guilty on July 24, 2013, to one count of wire fraud.  In his plea, Mr. Morris admitted that he caused false and fraudulent insurance claims to be filed on a truck and wood chipper owned by his companies Beeline Wood Products, Inc. and Big Bend Timber Services.  Mr. Morris admitted that he knew the truck and wood chipper had not been stolen from a location in Thomas County, Georgia, but instead at his request, had been cut up and sold for parts and scrap metal.

“When people defraud insurance companies, they end up hurting every honest policyholder by subjecting them to increased insurance rates to help offset the effect of the fraud,” said United States Attorney Michael Moore.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service along with the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers.

Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney's Office at (478) 621-2602.

Updated February 19, 2015