For Immediate Release: May 2, 2011

Department of Insurance Investigation Leads to Buncombe County Man's Arrest

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Keith Arthur Vinson, 52, of 208 Folkestone Lane, Arden; he is charged with three counts of insurance fraud in violation of North Carolina General Statutes, section 58-50-40, and one count of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on three occasions in 2009 and 2010, Vinson caused a group health insurance policy to be cancelled by failing to pay premiums to insurance companies Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and United Healthcare, leaving employees of the property management company Tradition, LLC without coverage. He allegedly did not give the employees the required 45 days written notice of intent to cancel the policies.

Vinson is accused of withdrawing $12,131.22 from employees' earnings for medical coverage and not providing the coverage to employees. A Tradition LLC self-funded group health plan failed to pay a total of $312,733.06 in medical claims incurred by employees.

Vinson was arrested on April 28 and placed under a $320,000 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.

--NCDOI--