For Immediate Release: September 22, 2010

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

Trio Arrested in Alleged Staged Auto Accident

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of three people who Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege were involved in a staged traffic accident in rural Pender County in an effort to receive nearly $30,000 from insurance companies.

The three were charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense:

Investigators allege:

Perkins, Murphy and Robinson reported that they were victims of a hit-and-run automobile accident that occurred on July 19, 2009. Perkins filed a claim with GMAC Insurance and received over $18,000. Murphy filed a claim with GMAC Insurance and received $2,000. Robinson filed a claim with Peak Property Casualty Insurance and received more over $8,000.

However, investigators believe the trio staged the accident and used a vehicle belonging to Perkins to cause the damage.

The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by the Pender County Sheriff's Office, New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, GMAC Insurance and the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. So far in 2010, these criminal investigators have seen more than 268 cases successfully closed with more than $18.5 million in restitution and recoveries, 54 criminal convictions and 89 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.

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