For Immediate Release: August 20, 2010

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

Alamance County Business Owner Arrested

Investigators allege he terminated employees' health insurance without their knowledge

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Virgil Lawrence Manuel, 60, of 5765 Snow Camp Road, Graham. Manuel surrendered to authorities in Alamance County on Aug. 19 and was charged with three counts of terminating a group health insurance plan without giving plan holders at least 45 days written notice of the intention to stop payment of premiums.

Department investigators allege that on April 30, Manuel terminated the Blue Cross Blue Shield group health insurance policy for his business, Antilles Seaplanes/Atlantic Coast Seaplanes, without having notified those covered by the policy. As a result, 15 people incurred a total of $61,848 in uncovered medical bills.

Manuel was placed under a $3,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 20.

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--