For Immediate Release: October 3, 2011

Insurance Agent Arrested for Alleged Embezzlement

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Jared Johnson Steele, 34, of 2262 Durand Road, Fort Mill, S.C.; he is charged in Gaston County, N.C., with two counts each of obtaining property by false pretense and embezzlement by an insurance agent. Steele is also charged with eight counts of obtaining property by false pretense in Lincoln County, N.C.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that, while acting as a licensed insurance agent in Gaston County, Steele embezzled approximately $312,668 in funds from his employer, Capital Guardian LLC. Investigators also allege that Steele fraudulently obtained $23,263 from two local businesses and an individual who thought they were purchasing insurance policies.

Steele was arrested Sept. 30 in Gaston County and held under a $10,000 secured bond. He was also charged in Lincoln County and ordered held under a $15,000 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.

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