For Immediate Release: December 19, 2011

Swansboro Agent Accused of Embezzling Insurance Funds

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Peirson Freeman Lane, 44, of 536 Sabiston Drive, Swansboro; he is charged with four counts each of embezzlement by an insurance agent, embezzlement, and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between May 2008 and October 2011, Lane deposited approximately $35,000 of company money into his personal account while employed as an agent with John Hackney Insurance Agency in Swansboro.

After a joint investigation by the Swansboro Police Department and Department of Insurance investigators, Lane was arrested Dec. 16 in Onslow County and held under a $220,000 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 the Web site for the N.C. Dept. of Insurance.

--NCDOI--