For Immediate Release: July 24, 2012

Cumberland County Woman Arrested for Alleged Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Debra Gail Hodges, 41, of 5009 Inverness Drive, Fayetteville; she is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, attempted insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense, and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

On July 13, 2011, Hodges filed a claim with Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company for $10,000 worth of vandalism and other damage to her Fayetteville home, for which she presented a list of damaged items with receipts. Department of Insurance criminal investigators accuse Hodges of including a chandelier in the claim that she had actually returned to a local store for a $648 refund. Investigators allege that Hodges also received payment from the insurance company after reporting the chandelier stolen on June 1, 2010. The Department of Insurance launched its investigation upon receiving a tip from Liberty Mutual.

Hodges was arrested July 22 by the Fayetteville Police Department and placed under a $4,000 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--