For Immediate Release: March 10, 2011

Pair Arrested on Bail Bonding Charges in Lincoln County

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Alvaro Iriarte, Jr., 37, of 1317 Lands Downe Drive, Conover; and Jason Andrew Rothenburg, 34, of 286 Car Farm Road, Lincolnton.

Iriarte is charged with one count each of aiding and abetting an unlicensed bondsman and unauthorized wearing of a badge; Rothenburg is charged with one count of acting as an unlicensed bondsman.

Investigators allege that on Feb. 16, licensed bail bondsman Iriarte apprehended and surrendered a defendant to the Harven Crouse Detention Center in Lincoln County with the help of Rothenburg, who is not licensed to act as a bail bondsman. Iriarte is also accused of displaying a badge similar to a law enforcement badge without authorization to do so.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators assisted the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in arresting the men on March 7. Iriarte was placed under a $1,000 secured bond.

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--