Former Georgia mayor pleads guilty to insurance fraud
FRANKLIN (AP) — A former Georgia mayor pleaded guilty Tuesday to 30 counts of insurance fraud after stealing over $11,000 from victims who believed they were paying for insurance policies.
Former Franklin Mayor Brad Yates, in a negotiated plea deal, was sentenced to 20 years of probation and was ordered to pay $24,621 to victims in restitution, the Times-Georgian has reported.
“The District Attorney’s Office initially sought prison time for Yates’ crimes, but agreed to a probated sentence in exchange for Yates' victims receiving $20,000 in restitution," Coweta D.A. Herb Cranford said in the statement. “The state prioritized making these victims whole as soon as possible over sending the defendant to prison.”
Cranford says Yates fraudulently produced Certificates of Insurance for Worker’s Compensation, which led victims to believe they were insured. When victims made payments to cover the policies, Yates kept the money.
Yates still owes $4,621 in restitution, which will be paid monthly during his probation.
The Heard County town has a population of around 1,000 people and is approximately 58 miles (93 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta.