More than a year after Frances Hall was arrested for felony fraud, the case against the trucking company owner continues to make its way through the Texas legal system.
A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 30 for Hall, who was convicted of killing her husband in 2016 and is now accused of defrauding insurers.
Hall, 60, allegedly provided false payroll information over a seven-year period to avoid more than $9 million in insurance premium payments while she was co-owner of the trucking company with her late husband, Bill Hall Jr., according to a news release from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) claims.
“Between 2009 and 2016, Frances Hall allegedly provided false payroll information to Texas Mutual Insurance Company and concealed payroll reports to get lower insurance premiums on their extensive gravel hauling business,” TDI said. “The scheme allowed the company and its owners to avoid more than $9 million in premium payments.”
Hall turned herself in to authorities in August 2022. She is currently free on bond.
Prosecutors said insurance fraud is far from a victimless crime. Jessica Bergeman, the Travis County prosecutor who obtained the indictment, is a member of the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation prosecution unit.
“The Texas workers’ compensation system is funded through premiums that employers pay,” Bergeman said in a statement. “The system relies on the integrity of all who participate to ensure that workers’ compensation is viable and able to protect injured workers.”
Legal representatives for Hall did not return a request for comment from FreightWaves.
Hall’s attorney, Leigh Cutter, told the San Antonio Express-News last year that “Frances denies the allegations in the indictment and looks forward to her day in court so she can exonerate herself.”
Over the past year, there have been several pretrial hearings scheduled and canceled between Hall’s defense team and prosecutors in Travis County.
Attorneys for Hall filed almost a dozen motions in July 2022, including requesting prosecutors to reveal any agreements between the state of Texas and witnesses, as well as motions to suppress physical evidence and written or oral statements by the defendant.
Hall garnered national headlines in 2016 when she was convicted in the death of her husband of 32 years, Bill Hall Jr.
Together, the couple had built Bill Hall Jr. Trucking, which hauls gravel and other materials for road construction. The carrier is still active and doing business under the name of Iron Horse Transportation and Construction with a fleet of 44 trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
In 2013, Frances Hall knocked her husband’s motorcycle off a San Antonio highway while she was chasing his mistress, who was in another vehicle on the same road. Bill Hall Jr. was following his mistress’ vehicle on his motorcycle. Frances Hall said it was an accident.
Frances Hall was convicted of murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2016. She received a two-year sentence — the lightest sentence possible — after jurors found she acted with “sudden passion.” Hall was released from prison in 2018.
If convicted of felony fraud, she could face up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
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