For Immediate Release: July 11, 2012

Joint Investigation Leads to Laurinburg Woman’s Arrest for Alleged Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Shannon Sales, 29, of 18603 Blakely Road, Laurinburg; she is charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count each of obtaining property by false pretense, acting as an unlicensed insurance agent, motor vehicle title fraud, and vehicle registration fraud.

After a joint investigation by the Department of Insurance, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and the Laurinburg Police Department, investigators allege that Sales registered and insured two vehicles in her name while both vehicles were actually owned and operated by undocumented immigrants. Investigators allege that the undocumented immigrants paid the monthly insurance premiums directly to Sales instead of to Progressive Insurance Company, which held the policies.

Sales was arrested on June 28 in Scotland County, made her initial court appearance on June 29, and was held under a $10,000 secured 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--