For Immediate Release: July 26, 2011

Lincolnton Bail Bondsman Arrested

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Carl Edward Howard, Jr., 36, of 2677 Gastonia Highway, Lincolnton; he is charged with one count of unauthorized wearing of a badge.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on July 20, Howard, while working as a licensed bail bondsman, acted in violation of 58-25-70 of the N.C. General Statutes, which forbids an individual from wearing or using the badge or button of a fraternal organization or society without being entitled to do so by the organization, society or order.

Howard surrendered himself to authorities on July 25 and was placed under a $2,000 unsecured bond. He is scheduled to appear in Lincoln County court on Aug. 23.

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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