For Immediate Release: October 23, 2012

Wake County Insurance Agent Arrested for Allegedly Embezzling Funds

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Leilani Arellano, 23, of 1067 Lake Wendell Road, Wendell; she is charged with five counts each of embezzlement by an insurance agent and obtaining property by false pretense, and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that from January 2012 until she was fired as an Allstate Insurance Company agent in July 2012, Arellano was accepting insurance premium payments in cash from Spanish-speaking clients and embezzling part or the entirety of those payments. In some cases, her clients would receive a bill stating that they had not paid their full insurance payment and that their coverage had lapsed. Investigators allege that Arellano charged her clients fees for services that were supposed to be free and embezzled that money, as well.

Arellano was arrested on Oct. 18 with the assistance of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and placed under a $20,000 secured bond.

If you suspect that you were a victim of this alleged embezzlement scheme, you are urged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at (919) 807-6840, or Detective Jamey Snipes of the Johnston county Sheriff’s Office at (919) 989-5020.

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--