DOI News

For Immediate Release: Contact:
August 5, 2009 Kristin Milam
Johanna Royo
Woman Convicted of Insurance Fraud
Vonna Johnson ordered to pay more than $47,000 in restitution
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the conviction of Vonna Johnson, 45, 3435 Nelson Lane, Morganton, on seven counts of insurance fraud and seven counts of obtaining property by false pretense. Johnson was ordered to pay nearly $41,000 in restitution to Colonial Life Insurance Co. and just over $6,000 to Allstate Insurance Co. Johnson was also sentenced to 48 months supervised probation. Vonna Johnson
According to the investigation, Johnson, a former billing department employee at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, changed patient names on medical bills to her own name or her children's names. Investigators say Johnson then submitted those false bills to Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company. Also according to the investigation, Johnson gave false and misleading information to Allstate Insurance Co. for medical bills following an auto accident.
Johnson was convicted in Catawba County Superior Court in Newton. A tip from a family member led police in Hickory to open the case against Johnson. Officials at Frye Regional Medical Center cooperated in the investigation were proactive in helping to bring Johnson to justice.
The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. So far in 2009, these criminal investigators have seen more than 174 cases successfully closed with more than $8.6 million in restitution and recoveries, 47 criminal convictions and 86 arrests and 75 cases pending in court.
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 --