For Immediate Release: March 7, 2011

Bail Bondsman Arrested on Charges in Two Counties

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Larry Delarence Atkinson, 59, of 204 Holly Circle, Clayton; he is charged with two counts each of obtaining property by false pretense, obstruction of justice and altering court documents. The charges stem from alleged incidents in Wayne and Greene counties.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Atkinson, a bail bondsman, submitted fraudulent forms to court clerks in Wayne County and Greene County as evidence for motions to set aside bond forfeitures in the amount of $1,000 in each county.

Atkinson was arrested in Johnston County on March 3 and placed under a $75,000 secured bond in Wayne County and a $75,000 secured bond in Greene County.

The State Bureau of Investigation asked the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division for assistance in the case after receiving a tip about the alleged criminal bailbonding activity from the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

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--