For Immediate Release: April 27, 2011

Columbus County Man Arrested for Alleged Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Ildefonso Pantaleon, 50, of 123 Dan Ward Road, Whiteville; he is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Pantaleon filed a claim for an auto accident that had actually occurred before he purchased an automobile insurance policy with State Farm Insurance in October 2010. As a result, the insurance company paid Pantaleon more than $4,699.25 to which he was not entitled.

With the assistance of the Columbus County Sheriff's Office, Pantaleon was arrested on April 26 and placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 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.

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