For Immediate Release: September 17, 2012
Mecklenburg County Man Accused in Restaurant Insurance Fraud Scheme
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that Robert Chase Garcia, 28, has been charged with one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud. Garcia was served with the warrants on Sept. 14 at the Mecklenburg County Jail, where he has been held on similar charges since June 11.
Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Garcia created a fraudulent $471 dental bill and submitted it to Village Tavern Restaurant in Charlotte, claiming that he bit down on a rock in a salad at the restaurant on Sept. 6, 2011. The claim was allegedly denied due to Garcia’s extensive claim history of similar incidents at Charlotte-area restaurants.
Garcia was placed under a $15,000 secured bond for the two recent charges.
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.