DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
May 4, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
919-807-6011
 
Charges Filed at Bad Boy Bail Bonding
 
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Merlin Jerome Smith, 41, Yolanda Smith, 40, and Chadwick Mason, 21, all of 154 Lakeview Dr., Elizabethtown. According to the investigation initiated by the Robeson County Sheriff's Department, Merlin Smith, an unlicensed bail bondsman, accompanied and assisted Chadwick Mason of Bad Boy Bail Bonding and Yolanda Smith of CAB Bail Bonding, in apprehending subjects in the Lumberton area.
 
All three subjects were taken to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. Merlin Smith is charged with two counts of acting as an unlicensed bail bondsmen, Yolanda Smith and Chadwick Mason are both charged with one count of aiding and abetting an unlicensed bail bondsman.
 
Investigators have seen a 66 percent increase in unlicensed bail bondsman criminal cases in the past 24 months. 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.
 
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 --