JACKSON COUNTY -- A former insurance agent in Jackson County's St. Martin community has admitted pocketing more than $33,000 in payments from residents to pay for their insurance policies.
A Jackson County grand jury indicted Chad Michael Davis, 38, of Ocean Springs, on 13 counts of felony false pretense and 16 counts of misdemeanor false pretense in the case.
Davis has since pleaded guilty to 13 counts of felony false pretense. In exchange for his plea, the state is not prosecuting the 16 misdemeanor offenses.
According to court records, Davis accepted money from 13 different customers, sometimes with numerous payments from one victim, to cover the costs of their insurance payments and didn't use the money to pay for the policies. In some cases, the payments insurers made were on policies that had been canceled.
Davis pocketed the money.
The crimes occurred at different times between June 2010 and October 2012.
Attorney Calvin Taylor, who represents Davis, said his client was going through a family crisis at the time he committed the crimes.
"He has surrendered his (insurance) license," Taylor said. "He is looking forward to resolving this."
In addition, Taylor said Davis was very "instrumental" in assisting sheriff's and Mississippi Department of Insurance investigators identify all the victims in the case.
"Chad met with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department several times, even identifying several victims who were unknown at the time" of the investigations, Taylor said. "He was very forthcoming. And he is looking forward to resolving this."
Davis was arrested in the case in October 2012. At the time, he was owner and sole insurance agent at Davis and Associates Insurance on Lemoyne Boulevard in the St. Martin community.
The investigation began after authorities received complaints from customers who said insurance companies had not received their insurance payments. In addition, complainants noted payments had been made on their canceled policies.
Felony false pretense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for each count.
The state has recommended Davis serve his sentence under house arrest.
Davis is scheduled for sentencing Monday before Circuit Judge Robert Krebs.
According to court records, Davis is now working in landscaping.