For Immediate Release: September 8, 2011

Department of Insurance Investigators Break up Alleged Staged Accident Ring

Seven arrested, two wanted in suspected insurance fraud scheme

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of seven people accused of engaging in an insurance fraud scheme involving staged auto accidents. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating two additional suspects.

Ashley Leija Hannon, 25, of 406 Spindale St., Spindale, N.C., was charged with one count of felony conspiracy, four counts of insurance fraud, four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Janice Hannon, 56, of 209 N. Howard Ave., Landrum, S.C., was charged with two counts of insurance fraud, and one count each of felony conspiracy, continuing a criminal enterprise, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and obtaining property by false pretense.

Julius Jamal Hannon, 34, of 586 Markham Road, Tryon, N.C., was charged with one count of felony conspiracy.

Tyreke Hannon, 18, of 209 N. Howard Ave., Landrum, S.C., was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Domonique Deshae Miller, 19, of 209 N. Howard Ave., Landrum, S.C., was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Christopher Nesbitt, 23, of 108 W. Tucker St., Landrum, S.C., was charged with one count each of felony conspiracy and continuing a criminal enterprise, four counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and two counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Khadsha Webster, 17, of 209 N. Howard Ave., Landrum, S.C., was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

After a two-year investigation, Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the named individuals participated in a staged accident ring in and around Polk County. The suspects - who are either family members or close acquaintances - are charged with filing false insurance claims with Progressive, GMAC, Allstate, Safeco, Geico and Liberty Mutual insurance companies. The total estimated losses associated with the claims are in excess of $100,000.

With the assistance of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, Landrum Police Department and Tryon Police Department, the suspects were arrested on Sept. 8.

Ashley Hannon is being held on $150,000 secured bond, Janice Hannon is being held on $12,000 secured bond and Julius Hannon is being held on $20,000 secured bond. Domonique Miller was released on a written promise to return to court, while Tyreke Hannon, Christopher Nesbitt and Khadsha Webster were released to the custody of a parent.

Investigators are seeking two suspects in association with this case. They are:

Michael Kareem Hannon, 26, of 740 E. Howard St., Tryon, N.C., is wanted for insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense, attempting to obtain property by false pretense, felony conspiracy and continuing a criminal enterprise.

Randy Bashawn Littlejohn, 36, of 111 Gold Medallion Drive, Bostic, N.C., is wanted for insurance fraud, attempting to obtain to property by false pretense and felony conspiracy.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating Randy Littlejohn and Michael Hannon, who was last seen driving a silver Dodge Charger with Florida license plates. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Tryon Police Department at 828-859-9195, or the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2008, criminal investigators have received more than 11,000 complaints resulting in 505 arrests, 286 criminal convictions, and more than 100 cases currently pending a court appearance. These arrests have resulted in more than $44 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.

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--