For Immediate Release: November 19, 2010

Cary Woman Arrested for Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Tonja Jordan Austin, 38, of 109 Hilary Place, Cary.

She is charged with two counts of failing to pay group health insurance premiums and failing to properly notify persons covered by the group policy of her intention to stop paying premiums.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Austin, a former co-owner of Integrated Family Solutions in Raleigh, failed to pay premiums to United Healthcare for the company's group health insurance, causing policies to be terminated on Dec. 1, 2009, and April 1, 2010. She allegedly did not give employees at least 45 days written notice of the cancellation or termination of insurance, as is required by law. As a result, a former employee incurred medical expenses totaling more than $13,000.

Austin surrendered herself to authorities in Wake County on Nov. 18 and was placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

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--