For Immediate Release: September 28, 2010

Two Arrested in Alleged Stolen Jewelry Scheme

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of two individuals accused of attempting to defraud an insurance company of $51,050 in a stolen jewelry scheme.

Mary Ellen Feamster, 43, of 1918 Trail Five, Burlington, was arrested in Alamance County on June 22; she was charged with two counts of insurance fraud and placed under a $6,000 secured bond.

Minx VonParis DeMaxzmohr, 40, of 1424 Ashe St., Burlington was arrested in Alamance County on Sept. 27; he was charged with one count of insurance fraud and placed under a $500 secured bond.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that in November 2009, Feamster took out an insurance policy for jewelry she did not own, and that between February and March 2010, she falsely reported the jewelry as stolen to Farm Bureau Insurance of North Carolina in an attempt to claim $51,050.

DeMaxzmohr is accused of furnishing Feamster with a jewelry appraisal during the claims process; investigators allege that DeMaxzmohr, not Feamster, actually owned the jewelry that was appraised and conspired with Feamster in filing the theft report.

The Department's Criminal Investigations Division got involved in the case after receiving a complaint from the insurance company.

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.

--NCDOI--