For Immediate Release: June 1, 2012

Iredell County Man Arrested for Alleged Auto Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Luis Londono-Castro, 32, of 137 Four Winds Drive, Statesville; he is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Londono-Castro - the owner of Edge Motors in Statesville - filed a fraudulent insurance claim in December 2011 against an employee's personal insurance company after reporting that the dealer-owned vehicle was damaged during a test drive or while borrowing the vehicle. The employee died in the accident, the vehicle was totaled, and GEICO, the employee's insurance carrier, ultimately settled the claim with Londono-Castro for more than $15,000.

In January 2012, the employee's widow disputed the claim with GEICO, asserting that her husband was using the dealer-owned vehicle for work purposes and was not test-driving the vehicle. GEICO's Special Investigations Department referred the case to the North Carolina Department of Insurance for investigation.

Londono-Castro was arrested on May 29, processed at the Iredell County Jail, and was placed under an $8,000 secure 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--