A Republican who runs insurance matters for the state of Georgia and also serves as a local Christian leader was just charged in a massive $2 million embezzlement and campaign fraud scheme.
Jim Beck, Georgia Insurance Commissioner and the leader of the Georgia Christian Coalition, was hit with a 38-count indictment accusing him of stealing funds from his former employer and using it to fund his political campaign (among other personal expenses). He was formally charged by a federal grand jury yesterday.
The 38-count indictment charges Beck, an ex-insurance lobbyist and long-time leader of the Georgia Christian Coalition, with fraud and money laundering in an elaborate scheme to defraud the Georgia Underwriting Association. With the stolen cash, the Republican allegedly paid his credit card bills and taxes — and even funded the 2018 campaign that landed him in office.
Beck’s, whose lawyers said he denies the charges, is expected to surrender to U.S. Marshals on Wednesday in downtown Atlanta, said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
Pak said the crimes took place between February 2013 and August 2018, when he left the Georgia Underwriting Association in the middle of the campaign for insurance commissioner. The prosecutor said the allegations don’t relate to Beck’s current job.
“However,” Pak went on, “holding a powerful position does not shield you from the (consequences) of your past criminal activity.”
He allegedly encouraged friends and associates to start four separate companies and send invoices to the Georgia Underwriting Association for various services. Some of the invoices were for work that was never done, prosecutors believe.
Beck funneled money to himself through two Carrolton-based companies he controlled, the Georgia Christian Coalition and Creative Consultants, the indictment alleges.
It isn’t clear if the friends, who are identified in the indictment only by initials, knew the invoices could’ve been improper. Pak declined to say whether more indictments could come.
It’s all a far cry from what Beck said when he first becomes the Christian group’s president:
“Protecting life and standing for biblical values in Georgia and across the nation has always been the Coalition’s central focus and this will continue to the be the main objective of the Georgia Christian Coalition under my leadership“, says Beck.
He’s a big fan of biblical values. Except “Thou shalt not steal,” apparently. It’s a value he was also happy to ignore in a campaign video attempting to parody a different ad. That video ends with this image.
A Christian first. A jailbird second.
(Screenshot via YouTube)