For Immediate Release: July 21, 2010

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

Wayne County Insurance Agent Arrested

Investigators allege he received payments for non-existent companies and employees

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Edward Charles Harris, 32, 408 Quail Drive, Goldsboro. Harris, a licensed insurance agent, was charged with five counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Department investigators allege that between March and September of 2009, Harris received payments totaling $67,451.76 from Colonial Life Insurance Company by presenting false applications for health insurance with the names of 269 employees and nine companies that did not exist.

Harris was processed at the Wayne County Jail on July 19 and placed under a $75,000 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 165 cases successfully closed with more than $5.8 million in restitution and recoveries, 40 criminal convictions and more than 65 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--