For Immediate Release: February 10, 2010

Contacts: Kristin Milam 919-807-6011

Former Insurance Agent Pleaded Guilty to Embezzlement, Sentenced to House Arrest

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the sentencing of Terri Lynn Spence, 34, of 8514 Rosebud Lane, Emerald Isle. Spence pleaded guilty to five counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent and was sentenced to 48 months supervised probation with one year of electronic house arrest. She was also ordered to pay $46,773.93 in restitution and court fees. Lenoir County Superior Court Judge Paul Jones ordered the sentence.

Spence was arrested by Department investigators and the Lagrange Police Department in June 2008 for embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense. According to the investigation, there were 43 victims and 16 insurance companies affected by Spence's actions; most of the policies were homeowners insurance and workers compensation.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2009, these criminal investigators saw 413 cases successfully closed with more than $10.5 million in restitution and recoveries, 89 criminal convictions and 175 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.