For Immediate Release: January 23, 2012

Guilford County Insurance Agent Arrested for Alleged Embezzlement

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Randal Gene Bickham, 49, of 18 Edinborough Court, Greensboro; he is charged with four counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent.

Investigators allege that between Mar. 5, 2011, and Sept. 7, 2011, Bickham accepted premium payments for insurance policies that he did not submit to the appropriate insurance carriers while acting as an insurance agent and owner of Bickham Insurance Agency. Instead, investigators allege that Bickham deposited the premium funds into his business account. Some of the victims were made whole by AAA Insurance and the company is seeking restitution of $2,866.50.

Bickham was arrested on Jan. 20 at the Guilford County Magistrates Office and was released on a written promise to return to court on Feb. 23, 2012.

If you suspect that you are a potential victim of Randal Bickham, or of a similar financial scheme, you are encouraged to contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840 or toll-free at 888-680-7684.

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 2009, 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.