For Immediate Release: November 16, 2011

Former President of Scotland County Firefighters Association Indicted

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the indictment of James Rupard, 50, of 12460 Angus Drive, Laurinburg; he was indicted by a Scotland County grand jury on three felony Class C counts of obtaining property by false pretense and corporate malfeasance.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Rupard defrauded individuals, the Stewartsville Volunteer Fire Department and the Scotland County Firefighters Association of more than $304,000 in grant funds, general operating funds, monies intended for annuities that were never written, and other investments.

Rupard was originally arrested in September 2009 and charged by Department of Insurance criminal investigators with multiple counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent and obtaining property by false pretense. As the result of a continued investigation, additional evidence was presented to a grand jury and a true bill of indictment was issued, prompting an order for Rupard's arrest.

Rupard was served with the indictments on Nov. 15 and placed in the Scotland County Jail under a $300,000 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 11,500 complaints, resulting in 550 arrests, 300 criminal convictions, and more than 115 cases currently pending a court appearance. These arrests have resulted in more than $47.6 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--