For Immediate Release: July 16, 2010

Contacts: Kristin Milam or Kerry Hall: 919-807-6011

Durham Woman Arrested on Charges of Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Lakeitha Hinton Jones, 36, of 200 Glen Falls Lane, Durham; she was charged with one count of attempted obtaining property by false pretense and two counts each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department investigators allege that Jones filed claims with four different insurance companies for the same damage to her vehicle. According to the allegations Jones' initial, legitimate claim was in October 2008 with Nationwide Insurance Company for damage to her 2005 Ford Escape while it was parked in a parking lot, and she received $1,559.

Investigators say the subsequent two claims cited the same damage and same circumstances, but the companies involved were Erie Insurance Company in April 2009 and GEICO Insurance Company in March 2010; she received $1,620.63 and $800.63 from the companies, respectively. Finally, Jones allegedly filed a fourth claim in May with 21st Century Insurance citing damage from a hit-and-run collision; after speaking with a representative from Erie Insurance Company, 21st Century Insurance dropped the claim.

Jones was processed at the Durham Police Department and placed under a $15,000 secured bond.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. To date in 2010, these criminal investigators have seen more than 150 cases successfully closed with more than $3.5 million in restitution and recoveries, more than 30 criminal convictions and more than 50 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. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

--NCDOI--