For Immediate Release: August 4, 2011

Former Forsyth County Agent Arrested for Alleged Securities Scam

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Roland Dee Branch, 69, of 718 Pecan Ridge Circle, Kernersville; he is charged with 10 counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Branch misled a Davidson County couple to invest in a non-existent annuities investment plan. The couple gave Branch an undisclosed amount of funds over a four-year period, and investigators allege that Branch failed to invest any of the retirement funds for the couple. The Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division began investigating the matter in 2010 after the alleged victims filed a complaint with the Department.

Branch was arrested on Aug. 3 in Davidson County, placed under a $5,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in Davidson County Court on Aug. 23. Branch surrendered his insurance license to the Department of Insurance in April 2010.

If you suspect that you are a potential victim of Branch, or of a similar financial scheme, you are encouraged to contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

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--