For Immediate Release: January 14, 2013

Henderson County Body Shop Owner Accused of Insurance Scam

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of George Connolly, 58, of 173 Underwood Road, Fletcher; he is charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Feb. 8, 2012, Connolly — an auto body shop owner — received checks from two insurance companies for the same repair work, resulting in him knowingly accepting a duplicate payment. Connolly is also accused of forging a signature on one of the checks, which was made payable to the owner of the damaged vehicle.

Connolly was arrested on Jan. 12 and released on a $500 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 16,800 complaints, resulting in 720 arrests and 380 criminal convictions. These efforts have delivered more than $50 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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