ATLANTA – Suspended Insurance policy Commissioner Jim Beck took the witness stand for a second working day in his federal fraud demo. Beck explained to jurors his testimony “is my previous opportunity” to persuade them and the wider globe that federal investigators dismissed the real truth in a misguided hurry to indict him.
Beck is accused of currently being the mastermind in a plan to steal much more than $2.5 million from point out-developed insurance coverage business Ga Underwriting Affiliation. Beck managed GUA just before he took office environment as the state’s top rated insurance plan regulator in 2019. He was billed with wire fraud, mail fraud, income laundering and tax fraud months just after taking place of work.
Following revealing the name of a mysterious laptop programmer on the stand on Tuesday all through immediate examination, it was the prosecution’s possibility on Wednesday to consider to get to the base of who the mysterious Jerry Jordan is.
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Beck informed the courtroom that he could not find Jordan, a man who he identified as a vital witness and could make clear the substantial sums of money exchanged fingers amongst Beck and his cousin, Matthew Barfield. Barfield testified very last 7 days that, at Beck’s path, he established up his established up a enterprise to invoice GUA for home inspections. He advised the jury that he believed Beck’s firm Creative Consulting did the true inspections, he only did paperwork.
Beck testified on Tuesday a independent organization he managed did legitimate further perform for GUA and advised the jury he paid out a computer programmer he experienced achieved at a restaurant named Jerry Jordan huge portions of dollars to compose application packages to skim household inspection details from general public databases.
He stated he to begin with compensated Jordan $40,000 in funds. He mentioned, afterwards, he individually, manually entered the data Jordan gathered into GUA computer systems for about a few many years.
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Beck told the jury that he bought the go-ahead from the then-board chairman of GUA, John Houser, to create a organization to do house inspection analysis for GUA. But before in the demo, Houser testified he knew very little about any of Beck’s companies.
The suspended coverage commissioner experienced no comment about Jordan’s identification other than to inform the FOX 5 I-Group, “Y’all have a good day,” as he entered the federal courthouse for his second working day of testimony.
Throughout that testimony, Jerry Jordan’s identify kept popping up. Beck stated Jordan had offered the computer brainpower to gather info that GUA utilized to charge buyers additional and lower the prices the assets insurer of final vacation resort compensated other individuals to share in its risks. People techniques, Beck testified, assistance change the point out-chartered insurance company from a continual money-loser to a financially rewarding entity.
“The government’s idea of the scenario is predicated on there remaining a damage,” Beck claimed. “In fact, there was a profit. So I would propose to you, if there is no hurt, there is no criminal offense.”
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But Beck admitted he didn’t know wherever Jordan was, didn’t know the proper identify of Jordan’s firm, didn’t have a penned contract with Jordan, didn’t have the laptop computer pc Beck reported Jordan delivered him, didn’t even have a Jordan company card. Beck stated he dropped monitor of Jordan soon after he moved “out West” to pursue a woman he achieved on the internet. He reported he and his legal staff has searched for two yrs, but could not find him.
“He is the top secret driving the two Environmentally friendly Tech and Paperless,” Gray explained, naming the two corporations prosecutors say Beck invented to embezzle money from his employer.
Beck also testified that he compensated Jordan in hard cash he experienced accumulated and saved in a protection deposit box and at house, detailing why GUA-connected payments from Eco-friendly Technologies Expert services and Paperless Alternatives by no means remaining his lender accounts.
“I agree with you it is strange, but at the end of the day I was compensated to do the get the job done and the perform was performed,” Beck mentioned of the cash payments he mentioned he manufactured.
SEE ALSO: Three testify Georgia’s Beck directed revenue flows from insurance provider
Beck admitted on cross-examination he had no evidence of any function he did with Jerry Jordan. No laptop computer, jump drive, emails, or data files. Beck mentioned it is for the reason that the company was functioning yrs back and he did not hold it.
Beck argued that the standard flaw in the circumstance is that FBI agents concluded that “Jerry” only referred to Jerry Luquire of Columbus — Beck’s fellow Christian Coalition activist who died in 2014 — as a substitute of believing there could have been a different Jerry. Beck testified that he satisfied Jordan just after Luquire bumped into Jordan in a restaurant and introduced him to Beck.
“Each assertion you just take out of my mouth, you acquire as a continuation of a lie, when it’s a continuation of the fact,” Beck reported. “If men and women think you, I’ve been lying for five a long time.”
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Gray focused, in the end, not on Beck’s intended relationship with Jordan, but on e-mail that Beck wrote posing as Matt Barfield, the gentleman who prepared the invoices for Eco-friendly Know-how Expert services, which gathered payments from GUA and a spouse-and-spouse set of contractors to GUA.
“We’re speaking about whether or not you notify the truth of the matter,” Gray said, in questioning why Beck wrote email messages signing his name as “Matt,” with “Matt” even at one position together with Beck in correspondence.
“It did not trouble me because I was conducting enterprise on a area names I owned and e-mail I owned,” Beck mentioned.
Grey drilled Beck on why he in no way explained to GUA workers or some of his contractors that he experienced a monetary desire in the operate. Beck testified he received far more than 10% of the income compensated by GUA, and in some circumstances substantially more.
“The economical arrangement was not applicable to the perform,” Beck testified. “I have tons of friends I do not discuss my money preparations with.”
SEE ALSO: Trial starts for suspended Ga insurance policies commissioner
Beck stated individuals mates turned on him and testified for the prosecution simply because they were being intimidated by the federal investigation and jumped to the completely wrong summary.
“Folks do what people today do when the federal govt starts knocking on their door, and occasionally they put two and two alongside one another and get 6,” Beck claimed.
Grey, all through the several hours of cross-examination, repeated around and over to the jury, “I guess we’ll have to just take your term for it”
Beck at times obtained testy for the duration of his testimony attacking the governing administration, the FBI, declaring they obtained caught up in their individual narrative and did not consider the situation significantly sufficient and at a person level reported, “The wheels came off this investigation.” And at 1 issue he looked up at the prosecutor and mentioned, “Mr. Gray, I do not think you fully grasp the insurance coverage market.” Gray responded, “I really don’t likely believe I will ever comprehend what you are declaring.”
A lot more testimony is anticipated on Thursday.
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The Linked Press contributed to this report