Walton County Human Resources Director arrested on insurance fraud charges

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Walton County Human Resources Director has been arrested for allegedly committing insurance fraud.

According to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, deputies were notified about potential insurance fraud involving someone in the HR department. An investigation found discrepancies in the insurance file of 48-year-old Ella Mae Walters, the HR director.

Investigators say Walters listed Christopher Byrd as a dependent on her dental insurance plan. They say based on Byrd's date of birth, he does not qualify to be listed as a dependent.

Deputies say after reviewing the insurance claims, with the help of the Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Insurance Fraud, there were three claims totaling just under $300 for Byrd's treatment.

"As the Human Resources Director for our county, Ella Mae Walters has extensive knowledge of employment benefits and has the direct ability to approve and oversee all changes to insurance," Sheriff Michael Adkinson said. "Mrs. Walters knowingly and intentionally obtained a benefit for Christopher Byrd by falsifying an official record or official document."

Walton County Administrator Larry Jones said Walters will be placed on administrative leave until an internal review is completed.

Walters turned herself into the Okaloosa County Jail Friday morning. She is charged with official misconduct, false and fraudulent insurance claims, and falsifying records.