AP NEWS

North Augusta couple indicted on federal life insurance fraud charges

February 1, 2017 GMT

A North Augusta couple is to appear in federal court later this month after both were indicted in January on federal life insurance fraud charges.

Court documents filed Wednesday state Harry and Rose Smith are to appear at a pre-trial conference at 10 a.m. Feb. 27 in the federal courthouse in Columbia.

Jury selection is set for 9:30 a.m. March 6.

Judge J. Michelle Childs is to preside over the case.

A hearing has also been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in Columbia, which will be presided over by Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges.

Court records state from at least on or about January 2014, Harry and Rose Smith used the U.S. Mail and interstate wires to submit or cause to submitted “materially false applications for life insurance in an effort to have life insurance policies” issued by the American National Insurance Company, headquartered in Galveston, Texas; the Columbian Financial Group, headquartered in Binghamton, New York; and Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company; headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Court documents also state the couple contacted a person by the name “L.N.” and asked him to travel to North Augusta in order to prepare life insurance applications in the names of “D.E. and M.L.”

Records go on to state Harry and Rose Smith “falsely induced D.E. and M.L. to apply for life insurance for which they knew they were not eligible,” and the couple “paid the premiums on these policies and were either named the beneficiary at the time of application or shortly thereafter, with the goal of eventually receiving the death benefit of those policies.”

Both were issued a $25,000 unsecured bond.