Macon – A Locust Grove man was sentenced to 15 years, three of them in prison, Monday for his part in a nearly $80,000 insurance fraud scheme.
Christopher Lorenzo Battle, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
As part of his sentence, Battle also must help pay $79,538.71 restitution along with his sister who pleaded guilty to her part in the scheme last year.
If the case had gone to trial, prosecutor Matt Bridges would have presented evidence showing:
Battle’s sister, Arleatha Battle Martin, worked as an Allstate Insurance Company claims adjuster at a Macon office in 2011.
A random audit conducted in 2013 revealed more than 20 instances in which Martin fraudulently issued insurance settlement checks to her brother under the guise that he had provided materials and services to claimants who’d been involved in car accidents.
Battle, who was working as a contractor and CEO of Mechanical Energy Solutions Inc., did not provide the services or materials, nor had he experienced compensable losses.
Three checks totaling more than $6,000 stemmed from a 2011 school bus accident in Douglas County. Investigators determined Battle’s children, who were alleged to have been injured in the accident, weren’t on the bus.
Martin, 45, pleaded guilty to violating the RICO Act Jan. 25, 2017, and was sentenced to 15 years, three of them in prison.
Speaking after Monday’s hearing, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “Stealing from an insurance company is the same as stealing from a person. The losses are passed on to honest paying customers to foot the bill. As for Mr. Battle, his prison sentence will ensure he pays for what he did in time as well as money.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack