Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker announced today that a grand jury in Chatham County Superior Court has returned an indictment against James L. Burnsed on 86 counts of insurance fraud. Burnsed, age 49, a resident of Pembroke, Georgia, is charged with receiving money from numerous individuals in Chatham County for the purchase of insurance and converting the money to his own use.

Burnsed was arrested this morning in Tattnall County Superior Court where he was being arraigned on similar charges contained in an 83-count indictment returned in April in Tattnall County. He will remain in Tattnall County jail until later today when he is expected to be transferred to the Chatham County jail. No bond hearing has been set on the Chatham County charges.

The Chatham County indictment and the earlier Tattnall County indictment follow a lengthy investigation conducted by the Insurance Commissioner's office. The indictment returned Wednesday in Chatham County charges Burnsed with 63 counts of converting insurance premiums to his own use. The "premiums" paid ranged from $8.34 to $21,000 and totaled over $42,000. In addition, the indictment alleges in 23 counts that Burnsed knowingly issued fake insurance policies to the same victims.

"Insurance fraud affects all Georgia citizens," said Attorney General Baker, "not just the unfortunate victims in these cases. I take these cases very seriously, and my office will vigorously pursue and prosecute any criminal who attempts to defraud the citizens of this state in this way." Assistant Attorney General Eleanor Kornahrens presented the case to the grand jury. No trial date has been set.