Mayor Indicted

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A Dougherty County grand jury has indicted the mayor of Dawson on charges that he purchased fraudulent life insurance policies on at least 14 elderly and mentally infirm residents of an Albany assisted living home.

Sixty-year-old Robert Albritten was arrested after the 28-count felony indictment was issued. He is accused of 19 counts of insurance fraud and nine counts of forgery.

Albritten has been mayor of the Terrell County town of 5,500 people since January 1991.

He was released from custody after posting $5,000 bail. Dawson is about 20 miles west of Albany.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said Albritten is a licensed agent with Baltimore-based Monumental Life Insurance Company, and also owns Albritten's Funeral Service, where several of the former residents he insured were sent for burial.

Taking out a life insurance policy on someone without his or her knowledge is illegal in Georgia. Albritten allegedly forged documents showing that the people consented to the policies, which ranged from $3,000 to $5,000. He also collected commissions on the policies, Oxendine said.

Albritten's wife, Arna, declined to comment. Dawson City Manager Barney Parnacott did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The fraudulent policies were all for residents of the Top Quality Personal Care Home in Albany, which was closed by state officials.