For Immediate Release: September 29, 2011

Granville County Woman Arrested, Accused of Using Deceased Person's ID

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Maria Carmen Gonzales, 35, of 103 24th St., Lot 64, Butner; she is charged with one count each of identity theft, insurance fraud, and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Jan. 30, 2006, Gonzales obtained employment using the social security number of a deceased person, obtained a group insurance policy through her employer with that same social security number on Feb. 18, 2009, and fraudulently submitted a claim for long-term disability on May 5, 2009. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company paid Gonzales $11,300 for the allegedly fraudulent disability claim.

Gonzales was arrested in Granville County on Sept. 28 and released under a $40,000 secured bond.

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--