For Immediate Release: April 28, 2010

Contacts: Kristin Milam 919-807-6011

Rocky Mount Woman Charged with Insurance Fraud in Alleged Auto-Give Up

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Sheila Pittman Dickens, 42, 1204 Neal Street, Rocky Mount with on one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. Dickens is employed as a correctional officer at Maury Correctional Institution.

According to the arrest warrant, Dickens received a $2,936.49 claims payment from Nationwide Insurance Company for a false vehicle theft claim. Investigators allege that she knew a friend had intentionally set her 1999 Pontiac Grand AM on fire in a scheme to receive insurance money for the loss.

Dickens was processed at the Nash County Sheriff's Office and placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2009, these criminal investigators saw more than 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 Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous.