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Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

Texas couple, agent to plead guilty to life insurance murder

June 24, 2019, Columbia, TX — A local insurance agent and a Texas couple accused of an insurance fraud plot that led to murder intend to plead guilty, according to court records.

Attorneys for Charles Mercier and Virginia and Mark Buckland advised a judge in Columbia on Friday that the three will plead guilty, but they asked for time to work out the logistics. They have until Sept. 9, according to court documents.

Mercier, a North Augusta insurance agent whose license expired in 2004, specialized in writing insurance policies for members of the Irish Traveler community. He and the Bucklands were indicted in federal court in South Carolina in July 2018.

According to the indictment, Mercier and the Bucklands conspired to obtain life insurance policies worth $1 million by using fraudulent information. Federal and Texas prosecutors contended the policies led to the 2014 stabbing death of Anita Fox, Virginia Buckland’s 69-year-old mother.

Two members of the Irish Traveler community were arrested in Texas for Fox’s slaying, according to earlier reports in The Augusta Chronicle. Bernard “Little Joe” Gorman pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Bernard “Big Joe” Gorman died of natural causes before he could stand trial.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle

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