For Immediate Release: October 6, 2011

Multi-Agency Effort Results in Arrests for Alleged Staged Accident Ring

Eight arrested, two wanted in suspected insurance fraud scheme

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of eight 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.

Zakia Katrell Bobbitt, 30, 804 McMakin St., Apt. 102, Raleigh, was charged with one count insurance fraud, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Shaquana Jashel Burrough, 20, of 45 Harvest Lane, Louisburg, was charged with one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Tikara Denise Bynum, 23, of 2504 Evers Drive, Raleigh, was charged with one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Josalyn Jenice Cotten, 30, of 1300 S. Bloodworth St., Apt. C, Raleigh, was charged with two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Teresa Celeste Mullen, 35, of 8834 Orchard Grove Way, Raleigh, was charged with one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Lopez Dovol Mullen, 33, of 1912 Tischer Road, Apt. D, Raleigh, was charged with one count of identity theft, five counts of insurance fraud, five counts of obtaining property by false pretense and three counts of felony conspiracy.

Catina Lashawn Williams, 38, of 2311 Sonora St., Raleigh, was charged with two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Robert Levelle Williams, 33, of 2416 Evers Drive, Raleigh, was charged with three counts of insurance fraud, three counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of felony conspiracy.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between January and November 2010, the suspects were operating a staged automobile accident ring and were submitting false insurance claims to Nationwide Mutual, State Farm Mutual, Progressive Universal and Liberty Mutual insurance companies. The suspects have received a total of $43,970 thus far; an additional claim for an estimated $51,384 was denied.

Zakia Bobbitt is being held on $30,000 secured bond, Shaquana Burrough is being held on $30,000 secured bond, Tikara Bynum is being held on $30,000 secured bond, Josalyn Cotten is being held on $50,000 secured bond, Lopez Mullen is being held on $140,000 secured bond, Catina Williams is being held on $100,000 secured bond, and Robert Williams is being held on $80,500 secured bond. Wake County Sheriff's Office was unable to provide the bond amount for Teresa Mullen.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau assisted the North Carolina Department of Insurance with the investigation of the alleged staged accident operation, and the Raleigh Police Fugitive Task Force assisted in the apprehension and arrest of the suspects.

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

Tammy Haney, 31, with no known address, is wanted for one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Jocelin Anissa McAllister, 32, of 5375 Wayne St., Apt. D, Raleigh, is wanted for one count of felony conspiracy.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating Haney and McAllister. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335 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--