For Immediate Release: January 11, 2012

Alleged Fake Car Theft Leads to Arrest in Columbus County

Tabor City Police, Columbus County Sheriff's Office assist Department of Insurance with investigation

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Lisa Williams, 37, of 104 Dorman St., Tabor City; she is charged with one count of insurance fraud.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Dec. 18, 2010, Williams fraudulently reported to Tabor City Police that her 2008 Kia Optima LX had been stolen; she subsequently filed a $20,000 claim with GEICO Insurance. Investigators allege that Williams sold the vehicle to a scrap metal dealer prior to reporting it stolen and, after investigators notified GEICO representatives, the insurance claim was denied.

Williams was arrested on Jan. 10 by the Columbus County Sheriff's Office and placed under a $2,500 unsecured 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 13,500 complaints, resulting in 575 arrests, 320 criminal convictions, and more than 109 cases currently pending a court appearance. These arrests have resulted in more than $47.9 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.