For Immediate Release: April 26, 2012

Alleged Fraudulent Auto Insurance Claim Lands Wake County Man in Jail

RALEIGH -- — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of James David Hartsfield, 51, of 10000 Baileywick Road, Raleigh; he is charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Nov. 28, 2011, Hartsfield filed a fraudulent claim against his father's State Farm Insurance policy for property damage and injuries caused by an auto accident. After paying Hartsfield $4,156, State Farm representatives contacted the policyholder to let him know the loss had been settled. When Hartsfield's father denied knowing anything about the alleged auto accident, State Farm agents contacted the Department of Insurance and a criminal investigation was opened.

Hartsfield was arrested on April 25, processed in the Wake County jail, and placed under a $3,000 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 14,000 complaints, resulting in 602 arrests, 333 criminal convictions and more than 110 pending court cases. These efforts have delivered more than $48.5 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--