For Immediate Release: January 8, 2013

Davie County Law Firm Employees Arrested for Alleged Embezzlement Scam

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Kelly Renee Jones, 45, of 1739 Highway 601 South, Mocksville: and Jacqualynn Donna Stroud, 58, of 284 Highway 901, Harmony.

Jones was charged with 19 counts of larceny by an employee. Stroud was charged with 12 counts of embezzlement.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between February 2010 and November 2011 Stroud - while an employee of the Wade Leonard Law Firm in Mocksville - misallocated funds from the firm's trust fund on 12 different occasions. Jones - also an employee of the law firm - is accused of wiring a total of more than $30,000 from the company's trust fund to her personal bank accounts on 19 occasions between March 2010 and December 2011.

The Department of Insurance opened an investigation in January 2012 in response to a property loss insurance claim at the firm and discovered evidence of the allegedly misallocated funds.

Jones and Stroud were arrested on Jan. 7 in Davie County, and each was placed under a $5,000 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 more than 600 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.

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