For Immediate Release: March 4, 2011

Former Bail Bondsmen Arrested in Bladen County

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Yolanda Mason Smith, 42, and Chadwick F. Mason, 22, both of 154 Lakeview Drive, Elizabethtown. Smith is charged with two counts each of obtaining property by false pretense and obstruction of justice; Mason is charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and obstruction of justice.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Smith and Mason submitted motions containing false statements to the Bladen County Clerk of Courts concerning the setting aside of bond forfeitures; the forfeitures involved $15,500 that should have been paid to the Bladen County Schools.

Both were arrested in Bladen County on March 2. Smith was placed under a $6,000 secured bond and Mason was placed under a $3,000 secured bond.

Bail bonding licenses for both Smith and Mason were revoked by the Department in May 2010.

The Department of Insurance employs 21 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2010, these criminal investigators successfully closed 402 cases and made 126 arrests, leading to 88 criminal convictions. These resulted in more than $21.1 million in restitution and recoveries-more than double the dollar amount from the previous year and a record for NCDOI.

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--