Sun, May 27, 2018 04:58 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Judge rejects plea deal for former P’burg man
by Susan Allen

LEXINGTON — A former Prestonsburg man is serving time in the Fayette County Detention Center on an insurance fraud conviction.

William O. Goebel III, 44, was sentenced to 90 days in jail beginning June 9 and was placed on probation for five years for submitting false applications for health insurance in order to collect commissions for American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC).

“Basically, he made up policies,” Joe Cohen, director of the Insurance Fraud Investigation Division for the Kentucky Department of Insurance, said Tuesday. “In real general terms, he handled group policies, and what he would do is make up applications for those groups for commissions. He made numerous false applications.”

On June 16, Goebel was recommended for work release from jail despite some misgivings from probation officer Barry Newcomb.

“...(I have reservations as to all the medication he is taking),” Newcomb wrote on the court order granting work release. The order does not indicate where Goebel is employed.

Randy Pridemore, assistant director of administration for the Lexington/Fayette Community Corrections Department, said Tuesday that Goebel is not currently in the work release program. Pridemore said that Sept. 5 is Goebel’s release date.

“He didn’t work today,” Pridemore said. “We don’t have him down for work release.”

According to the final judgment in the case, Judge Lawrance B. VanMeter ordered Goebel to pay $7,100 in restitution in payments of $250 a month, pay a $5,000 fine and pay $2,112.42 to cover the costs of the investigation.

Goebel was indicted Feb. 5 by a Fayette County grand jury on two felony counts of fraudulent insurance acts which occurred between Nov. 16, 2000, and Aug. 2, 2001. One count was dismissed in lieu of Goebel pleading guilty to the other charge.

Cohen said a complaint was received from the insurance company which triggered the investigation.

As part of Goebel’s probation, he is to:

• Be gainfully employed for at least 40 hours a week.

• Perform 60 hours of community service for each year of his probation at the direction of his probation officer.

• Submit to “physical examination, including pupillary response, other eye function test, injection site examination, nasal passage examination and pulse, by defendant’s probation officer to detect recent drug usage and submit to random drug tests.”

• Consent to a body or property search by his probation officer or a police officer.

• Pay the Fayette Circuit Clerk’s office a $10 a month probation fee beginning in August.

• Appear for a probation review hearing on Oct. 2.

• Have no firearms or weapons of any kind “other than an ordinary pocket knife.”

The case was prosecuted by Fayette Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Rothrock.

Goebel was fired in the early 1990s from his job as director of the Kentucky Lottery’s regional office in Prestonsburg after he failed to notify state officials he had been arrested for drunk driving. He then began selling insurance.

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