Georgia insurance commissioner indicted on fraud charges

2 West Virginia Magistrates have been indicted on several charges including wire fraud.
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's insurance commissioner faces charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

A 38-count federal indictment was filed Tuesday against Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Jim Beck, who was elected in November.

The charges stem from Beck's time as general manager of operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association, which was created to provide high-risk property insurance to Georgia homeowners. The Republican is accused of devising a scheme to defraud the association of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors say he used the money for personal expenses and to fund personal investment, retirement and savings accounts, as well as his statewide election campaign. The indictment also says he used it to buy and improve personal rental property and for personal state and federal income taxes.

Bill Thomas, a lawyer for Beck, said in an emailed statement that Beck "strongly denies" the allegations.

"He acted legally and in good faith," Thomas wrote, adding that Beck "looks forward to clearing his good name."

Thomas also noted that the allegations do not relate to Beck's work as insurance commissioner and that he looks forward to continuing that work.

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