For Immediate Release: February 10, 2012
Alleged Insurance Scam Leads to Greene County Brothers' Arrests
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Harold Thomas Hill, 62, of 1329 Jesse Hill Road, Snow Hill; Howard Burnette Hill, 62, of 1085 Jesse Hill Road; and Melvin Hill, 57, of 940 Jesse Hill Road, Snow Hill. Each man was charged with one felony count of filing a fraudulent insurance claim.
Criminal investigators allege that each of the defendants filed an insurance claim with Edgecombe Farmers Mutual for damage to hog houses and other structures on their property as the result of an Aug. 7 tornado. Investigators allege that the brothers then filed another claim with Edgecombe Farmers Mutual on Aug. 30 for damage to the same structures as a result of Hurricane Irene. The second claim was not paid as Edgecombe adjusters allege that the damage was the result of the first natural disaster for which the brothers had already been paid.
Harold Hill, Howard Hill and Melvin Hill were arrested by the Greene County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 9 and released under a $20,000 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 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 on the Department of Insurance website.