For Immediate Release: August 18, 2011

Bail Bondsman Investigated by Department of Insurance, Arrested by U.S. Marshals

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Yolanda Smith, 43, of 154 Lakeview Dr., Elizabethtown; she is charged with one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense, felony obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to commit felony obstruction of justice.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that in December 2010, Yolanda Smith and her husband, Merlin Jerome Smith, filed bond forfeiture motions in Robeson County for their business, CAB Bail Bonding, in Elizabethtown. It is alleged that the forfeiture motions contained false information. Yolanda Smith's bail bonds license was revoked in July 2010; Merlin Jerome Smith was not licensed.

Yolanda Smith was arrested in Cumberland County on Aug. 17 by the U.S. Marshal Service Violent Fugitive Task Force under an indictment from the Robeson County Grand Jury. She was placed under a $25,000 secured bond. Investigators are still seeking Merlin Jerome Smith on multiple felony charges associated with this investigation.

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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