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State insurance regulators make arrests
Stephen Folkes
Stephen Folkes

COVINGTON, Ga. — State insurance officials said they’re cracking down on fraud, and made multiple arrests across the region in recent days.

Eight people were arrested in a 10-day span on a combined 22 felony charges.

Among them were Steven Folkes, of Covington, and Trejour Monea Thomas, who was arrested at her Loganville home.

Thomas was charged with insurance fraud and also held on a first-degree felony warrant from Lawrenceville. She was booked into the Gwinnett County jail at 7:52 a.m. Tuesday and released shortly before 1 p.m. on $2,950 bond.

The state insurance and fire safety commissioner’s office said Thomas, 20, and Folkes, 25, allegedly submitted fraudulent medical bills and work documents related to an accident.

Folkes is charged with insurance fraud and forgery.

The state also reported these arrests:

  • Deandre Rasheed Nelson, 28, of Lumpkin, was charged with two counts each of insurance fraud, theft by deception and altering a motor vehicle identification plate.
  • Dionte Jones, 25, of Columbus, was charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception and two counts of altering a motor vehicle ID plate.
  • Mackery A. Strong, 29, of Columbus, was charged with insurance fraud. Strong also was arrested on two felony bench warrants for failure to appear, and for felony probation violation.
  • Kenneth J. Anderson, 28, of Union City, was charged with insurance fraud.
  • Faith Ragland, 54, of Decatur, was charged with insurance fraud and forgery.
  • Steven Eric Chastain, 56, of Atlanta, was charged with theft by deception.

Nelson, Strong and Jones are accused of altering vehicle identification numbers on cars, obtaining insurance on those cars and then staging accidents or pawning them.

Chastain is a public adjuster accused of stealing a $204,000 claim after a victim’s house burned.

Brandon Wright, a spokesman for acting Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner John King, said agents planned to make five more arrests as part of the roundup of suspects.

The state fire marshal’s office; police from Loganville, Atlanta, Cobb County and Union City; the sheriff’s offices in Rockdale and DeKalb counties; and the Fulton County marshal’s office assisted in the arrests.

Wright said insurance fraud is a felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.