DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
March 24, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
919-807-6011
 
Dramatic Increase in Unlicensed Bail Bondsman
 
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Paquito Rafael Brown, 36, 408 North Redding St., Gastonia. Brown is charged with one count of acting as a bondsman without a license. According to the investigation, Brown allegedly performed the duties of a bail bondsman while attempting to take someone into custody for a bonding agency owned by Clint Baucom.
 
Investigators have seen a 66 percent increase in unlicensed bail bondsman criminal cases in the past 24 months. The biggest increases are in metropolitan areas like Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro. While this type of crime has been a problem for the past decade, Department investigators are cracking down on unlicensed bail bondsmen across the state.
 
"In a tough economy, we see an increase in the number of people trying to make a quick buck," said Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "That's why my investigators are working diligently to find and charge these bad actors."
 
Anyone interested in becoming a licensed bail bondsman should contact the NC Department of Insurance. Brown was booked at the Gaston County Jail and released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
 
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.
 
An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. 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 --