DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
Feb. 6, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
Michael Howell Charged With 25 Counts of Embezzlement
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that Michael A. Howell, 41, 5405 Fredrick St., Indian Trial, has been charged with 25 counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent. Howell has previously been charged with first degree murder in the death of Sallie Rohrbach, a Department of Insurance agency examiner. He is currently being held at the Mecklenburg County Jail. Today's charges come after eight months of investigation into the Dilworth Insurance Agency in Charlotte.
Each embezzlement charge represents a customer premium payment that, according to the arrest warrant, Howell pocketed instead of forwarding to an insurance company. Investigators say those transactions took place between March 2004 and May 2008 and were to cover premiums owed to GMAC Insurance and Discovery Insurance companies. The complete agency audit report has been submitted to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney. This investigation continues and more charges may be pending.
The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2008, these investigators saw more than 453 cases successfully closed with more than $5.8 million in restitution and recoveries, 60 criminal convictions and 130 arrests.
To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Investigations Division at (919) 807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at the NC-DOI Web site.
-- NCDOI --