Florence woman serving as ringleader in insurance fraud operation pleads guilty, prosecutors say

Florence woman serving as ringleader in insurance fraud operation pleads guilty, prosecutors say
Renara Jessica Burgess (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – A Florence woman has pleaded guilty after serving as the ringleader of an insurance fraud operation that saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent claims being made over nearly two years.

According to information from the South Carolina Attorney General’s office, 33-year-old Renara Jessica Burgess entered a guilty plea Oct. 15 to two counts of presenting a false claim for payment greater than $10,000.

Prosecutors said over 20 people altered medical bills and submitted false claims to insurance companies from September 2013 to July 2015.

“With Burgess serving as the ringleader, over $400,000 of claims were made, and nearly $300,000 of those were paid by the insurance companies,” a press release from the attorney general’s office stated.

Burgess altered her own family’s medical bills, as well as recruited and directed others to alter their medical bills for submission, investigators said.

Insurance fraud investigators with the State Law Enforcement Division led the investigation. Along with the attorney general’s office prosecution team, they found Burgess responsible for $296,250.91 of restitution with her other co-defendants, the release stated.

Burgess was sentenced to 10 years, suspended upon 90 days in jail, plus five years of probation, prosecutors said. She was also held responsible for $60,000 in restitution of claims she filed on her own behalf.

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